Thomas Pieters, Ian Poulter and Andrew 'Beef' Johnston confirmed for Irish Open
Ryder Cup golfers Thomas Pieters and Ian Poulter have both been added to next month's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open while fan favourite Andrew 'Beef' Johnston has also been confirmed to play.
Pieters and Poulter will join Team Europe teammates Danny Willett, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Matt Fitzpatrick, Andy Sullivan, Chris Wood, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Rory McIlroy, who will host the tournament in conjunction with his charity the Rory McIlroy Foundation.
World Number 26 Pieters has made a huge impression on his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine National last year despite Europe’s defeat, while Poulter finished in second place at last month's Players Championship in in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Johnston, meanwhile, rose to fame last year after winning the Open de España at Real Clube Valderrama and has since become one of the most popular players in golf in large thanks to his unassuming demeanour and sense of humour, with the Londoner also affectionately known as 'Uncle Beef' by fans..
Tournament host Rory McIlroy will return to Portstewart to defend his title while world number two Hideki Matsuyama will make his regular European Tour debut after finishing joint runner-up at last week’s U.S. Open Championship.
Home-grown Major winners Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell will return for their national championship as will Shane Lowry, who won this tournament as an amateur in 2009.
Irish Independent Sport Star Awards
Pick our magic sports moment of the year and win a trip for two to London. To view the shortlist and cast your vote click here.