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Northern Ireland relying on star power of McIlroy and co. to pull in €69m annual golf tourism

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Rory McIlroy hits from the first fairway during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Rory McIlroy hits from the first fairway during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill Club & Lodge

USA Today Sports

Rory McIlroy hits from the first fairway during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard at Bay Hill Club & Lodge

The Northern Irish government is hoping that the star power of athletes such as Open champion Rory McIlroy can help the country pull in £50m (€69m) in annual revenue from golf tourism.

Golf tourism currently generates about £33m (€45m) annually for the Northern Irish economy, but Stormont is hoping to grow that figure by £17m a year by 2020.

Northern Ireland's golfers such Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke have achieved worldwide success in recent years, winning several major titles between them.

Northern Ireland’s enterprise minister Arlene Foster said that there "has never been a better time" for a new plan to tap into the sport's tourism and business potential, adding that she wanted to remind golfers that "Northern Ireland is where golf champions are born and play".

Online Editors