Another big name has been added to the line-up for the 2019 Irish Open as Ian Poulter has confirmed he will be coming to Lahinch in July.
The Englishman, known as the ‘Postman’ to many fans because he always delivers at The Ryder Cup, was in contention for a maiden Major Championship title at the recent Masters Tournament – where Tiger Woods eventually emerged victorious.
Poulter’s commitment means that four of the current top five in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex, alongside Shane Lowry, Justin Harding and Louis Oosthuizen, will play in a star-studded field at the famous links from July 4-7.
Major winner Danny Willett and former World Number One Lee Westwood have also been confirmed, meaning the last three winners of Rolex Series events will play in the historic national open. Lowry is the most recent following his win in Abu Dhabi in January.
Poulter last played the Irish Open in 2017 at Portstewart Golf Club in Northern Ireland, while his last appearance in the Republic of Ireland came in 2006, but this will mark his first appearance in Munster since 2002 at Fota Island in Cork.
“I’m very much looking forward to playing the Irish Open,” said Poulter. “It’s been a while and to play a run of tournaments leading up to The Open Championship is going to be great.
“Lahinch will be a good test, a great links golf course – I haven’t played it yet but Ireland has some of the world’s best golf courses. The Irish are great fans and always have been great fans. They’re true followers of golf, they’re respectful, they know good shots especially in tough conditions and I expect them to be as good as they always are.
“It’s going to be a great tournament with Paul McGinley supporting the event. Paul’s a good friend of mine – I’ve known him now for a very long time as a friend and obviously as a Ryder Cup Captain. He’s a guy that I really respect.”
The 2020 Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington, his fellow Major champion Graeme McDowell and defending champion Russell Knox have also confirmed their participation in what is shaping up to be a world-class field for the July showpiece.
The 2018 Irish Open provided one of the most dramatic finales in the tournament’s 91-year history, as Knox holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to clinch a place in a play-off alongside New Zealander Ryan Fox.
The Scot then sank an almost identical putt on the first play-off hole to seal his maiden Rolex Series title and send the huge Irish crowds into raptures.
With blazing sunshine and a star-studded field, a total of 94,239 people attended the event at Ballyliffin Golf Club.