Irish Open: Final three days at Royal County Down sold out

Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy has enticed several of the game's top players, including Sergio Garcia, to the Royal County Down event

Tickets for the final three days of next week's Irish Open at Royal County Down have been sold out.

Thursday is the only day of competition with tickets still available as fans grab the chance to watch the likes of Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia.

Tickets are also available for Tuesday's practice day and Wednesday's pro-am event.

McIlroy's charitable foundation is the tournament host for the 28-31 May European Tour event.

Other stars who will be in action at Royal County Down include recent Players Championship winner Rickie Fowler and current US Open champion Martin Kaymer.

Ernie Els, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood will also join McIlroy's fellow major winners from Northern Ireland, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke in the field.

The Irish challenge includes three-time major winner Padraig Harrington while other big names who will tee up at Royal County Down are Miguel Angel Jimenez, Victor Dubuisson and Jamie Donaldson.

Gareth Maybin's best Irish Open finish is a share of 14th at last year's event
Gareth Maybin has received an invitation to the Irish Open from Tourism Northern Ireland

When the Irish Open was last staged in Northern Ireland at Royal Portrush in 2012, the tournament became the first ever European Tour event to be sold out, with no tickets available at the gate.

The same now looks likely to happen at Royal County Down three years on with only a few remaining tickets available for the opening day of competitive action.

"This year's event has surpassed all of our initial expectations and much of it is down to the support of one man in particular - world number one Rory McIlroy," said the Irish Open's tournament director Antonia Beggs.

"The star-studded field that Rory has managed to attract to Royal County Down and the personal drive and commitment that he has displayed to make this tournament the best that it can be has really been beyond amazing," she added.

Meanwhile, Gareth Maybin has received an invitation to play in the Royal County Down event from Tourism Northern Ireland.

Northern Irishman Maybin, 34, lost his European Tour card last year but has been handed a number of starts this year in addition to playing on the Challenge Tour.

"I'm delighted to get the invitation. Every year, I tee it up in the Irish Open it definitely is the main focus of my season," added the Ballyclare man, who is currently 202nd in the Race to Dubai standings.

Maybin, whose best finish so far this season is a share of 38th at the South African Open in January, is hoping to play in around 10 more European Tour events this season.

His best Irish Open finish was a share of 14th in last year's event at Fota Island.

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