McIlroy lures more big guns

Rory McIlroy has managed to attract a few more big guns to the Irish Open – Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Patrick Reed.

McIlroy’s foundation is hosting the event at Royal County Down from May 28-31 and the World No 1 has been working tirelessly to ensure the event secures a world class field.

American Ryder Cup star Reed confirmed he would be attending on the final day of the Masters at Augusta National, also revealing he would compete in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth the week before.

Former World No 1 Luke Donald and two-time major champion Martin Kaymer also join a field that already includes McIlroy himself, Ernie Els, Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell.

Ryder Cup captain Clarke said: “Rory has pulled in a lot of favours and it’s a testament to the high esteem Rory is held that it’s going to be the strongest field for a long time.

“It’s a huge positive for the European Tour to have such a tournament on one of the best golf courses in the world.

“I have always wanted to win the Irish Open but have not managed to play well in it that often. Hopefully being back at Royal County Down I will have a decent week this year.”

Donald, who last played in the Irish Open in 2004, said: “My performances and results have been getting better and better recently and I am feeling very positive about a huge summer of golf ahead.

“The Irish Open will be a big part of that and I am looking forward to playing Royal County Down and some really ‘old school’ links golf – I think the links golf factor will add a lot to the event and it’s looking like it’s going to be a great week.”

Kaymer added: “There is definitely a good feeling about this year’s Irish Open and I think Rory has done a great job to get such a great field for the event and to create a really nice atmosphere about the tournament.”