Sport Golf

Sunday 18 August 2019

Adare Manor wins bid for 2026 Ryder Cup as spectacular week for Irish golf gets even better

Impressive: Stunning Adare Manor, owned by JP McManus, will host the 2026 Ryder Cup.
Impressive: Stunning Adare Manor, owned by JP McManus, will host the 2026 Ryder Cup.
Darren Clarke with the Ryder Cup in 2006. Picture: Sportsfile
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Ireland is to host golf's most prestigious tournament, the Ryder Cup, in 2026, the Irish Independent can reveal.

A deal between the European Tour and the Government was agreed just over a week ago and a formal announcement is expected today.

The newly revamped Adare Manor in Limerick will be the venue for what is one of the biggest sporting events in the world.

It will attract tens of thousands of wealthy tourists and early estimates suggest it could be worth €160m to the economy.

It is understood Sports Minister Shane Ross will take a memo to Cabinet today seeking permission to enter a financial arrangement with the European Tour, but sources said it's a "done deal".

The development caps a spectacular week for Irish golf that saw Offaly man Shane Lowry win The Open.

Talks have been ongoing since last September when senior figures from the European Tour approached the Government to gauge the level of interest in hosting the biennial match between the US and Europe.

Adare Manor, which is owned by businessman JP McManus, was identified as the most suitable venue.

Paul Casey after his hole-in-one at the K Club
Paul Casey after his hole-in-one at the K Club

Other European venues were also in the running, including The Belfry - the last English venue to stage the Ryder Cup, in 2002.

It is understood the Irish bid was sealed during meetings on the fringes of the Irish Open which took place in Lahinch earlier this month.

The Europe team with the Ryder Cup in 2006. Picture: Sportsfile
The Europe team with the Ryder Cup in 2006. Picture: Sportsfile

As part of the arrangement, the Government will be expected to fund the long-awaited bypass around the tourist village of Adare.

A planning application is likely to be submitted to An Bord Pleanála later this year.

A payment will also be made to the European Tour but details of this are not expected to be revealed for commercial reasons.

Sources said the potential for tourism and international marketing far outweighs any financial investment the taxpayer will make.

Mr McManus will be responsible for any spending at Adare Manor to get it ready for the best golfers in the world.

Ireland has previously hosted the Ryder Cup only once, at The K Club in 2006.

More than 270,000 people attended last September's contest at Le Golf National to see Europe defeat the US. Spectators came from 90 different countries to see players including Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Today's announcement is likely to fuel interest in the JP McManus Pro-Am which takes place in Adare next July.

European Tour CEO Keith Pelley attended the official reopening of the revamped course at Adare in April 2018 when Pádraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, McIlroy and Lowry played an exhibition match.

However, the Irish Independent understands intense discussions on Ireland hosting the tournament didn't formally begin until last September when Mr Ross travelled to Paris to meet Mr Pelley, European Tour chairman David Williams, deputy CEO Guy Kinnings and the then Ryder Cup director Richard Hills.

Mr Pelley and Mr Kinnings, who took over from Mr Hills as Ryder Cup director, then travelled to Dublin to hold discussions with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in November.

Earlier this week, Mr Ross said Lowry's Open triumph would help Ireland's bid to stage the Ryder Cup in 2026.

"We would absolutely love to see Shane teeing off - and other Irish players - in Adare. It would be absolutely superb," he said.

"We would be optimistic we would be in there with a shout."

It has now emerged that the bid had already been approved behind closed doors.

Mr McManus has previously spoken about wanting to bring the tournament to Limerick.

"It is every golf course owner's hope to get the Ryder Cup," he said. "I am sure it will cost plenty, but I would like to bring it to Ireland, to Limerick and to Adare and give the whole south-west a boost."

Europe will defend their Ryder Cup title at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin next year.

Irish Independent

The Throw-In All-Ireland Hurling Final preview: Can Tipp's firepower edge clash with the Cats?

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport