Dromoland Castle is primed to welcome around 25,000 spectators through its gates this week for the eagerly-anticipated return of the KPMG Women’s Irish Open.
After a ten year absence, the Irish public is expected to turn out in force to witness home hero Leona Maguire and co compete at the stunning Co Clare course, thus ensuring the tournament remains on the schedule for many years to come.
This year’s host venue Dromoland Castle were instrumental in securing the tournament’s place back on the calendar. Before Covid reared its ugly head, Dromoland saw the Women’s Irish Open as the ideal way to showcase their sublime layout around the world. However, that privilege came at a cost.
Dromoland Castle have underwritten the 2022 renewal for an estimated half a million euros but should the first event back go to plan, then it’s hoped that the second and third years of this proposed deal can attract fresh support and ultimately see the €400,000 event go from strength to strength.
“In some ways we’re the custodians for the event going forward,” said Director of Golf Eamonn O’Donnell.
“Year two and year three will only ever happen if there’s a successful year one. So for us, it’s to ensure that the event is as successful as it possibly can be and that you get corporate Ireland coming in for year two and year three and additional support.
“In time, who knows, maybe the Women’s Irish Open could become a co-sanctioned event with the LPGA and that would allow us to see bigger players coming in.”
That’s certainly the hope of LPGA Tour winner Leona Maguire who is set to headline this week’s field. The ideal scenario for Maguire, whose focus is very much on her LPGA exploits, would be a co-sanctioned event ensuring any money won back home could go towards her Race to CME Globe ambitions. The first step towards such lofty goals, however, is ensuring the tournament comes back with a bang this week in Clare.
“That’s a big reason as to why I was determined to play this year – I want to help make this event as big as possible,” Maguire told our Irish Golfer podcast.
“It’s still only coming back after ten years. KPMG are obviously involved. Dromoland have put a lot of investment into the event and everyone wants to see it do as well as possible but for that to happen, everyone needs to buy in and play their part.
“Hopefully people can come out and support. Buy tickets, watch it on TV, and hopefully we can keep building year on year.
“The dream scenario would be to have it co-sanctioned with the LPGA, a bit like the Scottish event or the World Invitational. You want the best of the best showing up for a Women’s Irish Open.
“The more people who come out to support, the more players that are there, the bigger the purse gets. It all works in a circular motion but hopefully we can get as big an event as possible.
“There’s huge potential and I have no doubt that Irish people will come out and support it. When I played in those previous Ladies Irish Opens, before any 20×20 movement, the crowds were massive so hopefully we can have just as good, if not better, this year and in the years to come.”
- Full Women’s Irish Open entry list HERE
Tickets to see the stars of the Ladies European Tour in action at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open are now on sale at www.womensirishopen.ie. Four-day tickets are priced at €35 while single-day tickets will cost €15. Under 16s attending the event will also be admitted free of charge.
You can watch the Women’s Irish Open live on RTÉ News this Thursday and Friday, with live coverage on RTÉ One on Saturday and Sunday.