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Leona Maguire’s incredible Solheim Cup heroics to inspire revival of Irish Women’s Open


Leona Maguire made a sensational Solheim Cup debut

Leona Maguire made a sensational Solheim Cup debut

Leona Maguire made a sensational Solheim Cup debut

Leona Maguire’s incredible rookie performance in the Solheim Cup will lead to the Irish Women’s Open returning to the Ladies European Tour schedule as soon as next year.

The Irish Independent understands Golf Ireland is keen to increase the promotion and media exposure for the women’s game and is spearheading efforts to revive the event by 2023 at the latest as part of an elite summer swing built around the AIG Women’s Open and the Evian Championship.

The Ladies Irish Open was played from 1997 to 2003 and from 2008 to 2012 before falling off the Ladies European Tour (LET) schedule.

As Government already supports the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, the Irish Challenge and the Irish Legends on the three main male tours as part of a €50million investment in the 2027 Ryder Cup at Adare Manor, backing women’s golf is a priority with Maguire and Stephanie Meadow established on the LPGA Tour, and Olivia Mehaffey following in their footsteps.

As the new governing body for the game on the island of Ireland, Golf Ireland has held meetings in recent weeks with the LET and representatives of the relevant Government agencies to accelerate efforts to find a commercial sponsor for an Irish Women’s Open .

Efforts are now being redoubled after Maguire won four-and-a-half points from five on her Solheim debut in Ohio — a record by any rookie in the event’s history — prompting Pádraig Harrington to hail her as “now one of Ireland’s greatest golfers”.

No venue has yet been named, but it’s understood that with the ISPS Handa World Invitational event for men and women now firmly established at Galgorm Castle and Massereene, the revived Irish Women’s Open will be played in the Republic of Ireland, as far as possible from the Northern Ireland market.

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A major venue in the southwest has already expressed interest, though others are expected to raise their hands in the coming days.

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