Golf World No. 1 Rory McIlroy has done the Irish Open "a $2M favor," according to Karl MacGinty of the IRISH INDEPENDENT. McIlroy "should boost attendances" close to Portrush proportions at Carton House in June. It is "a measure of the Hollywood star's loyalty" to the Irish Open that he has waived any appearance fee for teeing it up on the Montgomerie Course from June 27-30. Outside of the Majors, World Golf Championships and a few other showpieces, tournaments "can expect to pay seven-figure sums" to get stars like McIlroy, Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson to support their event. McIlroy's commitment to playing at Carton has been described by his fellow Major champion Padraig Harrington as "fantastic." Harrington said, "It means the event is already on a winner. I'm sure you know how much it costs to get Rory to play an event, and he's playing in the Irish Open for free because he loves to play in it" (IRISH INDEPENDENT, 12/12).
Events and Attractions
The Int'l Paralympic Committee announced that Glasgow, Scotland will host the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships. The event was originally slated as a European Championships, but with a change to the IPC calendar the competition was upgraded to a World Championships. The event will be held in the new Tollcross Int'l Swimming Centre, the same pool that will host the swimming competitions of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The venue is currently undergoing a £13.7M ($22M) upgrade of its facilities, which will be finished in late spring. The refurbishment project will see the creation of a new six-lane, 50m warm-up pool to add to the existing 10-lane 50m competition pool (IPC).
The Japanese Tour has expanded its involvement with the OneAsia Tour, announcing two co-sanctioned events for '13. The announcement may have significant repercussions in the ongoing rivalry between the OneAsia Tour and the Asian Tour. The Japan Golf Tour Organisation announced it will co-sanction OneAsia's opening two events next year, the Thailand Open and Indonesia PGA Championship. OneAsia Tour Commissioner and Chair Sang Chun said, "This is a significant development for OneAsia." The news comes as another blow to the more established Asian Tour after that organisation attempted to block its players from participating in OneAsia events (PGA).
France and Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has "become the latest addition to an already star-studded line-up" of speakers for the 7th Dubai Int'l Sports Conference to be held at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai, UAE on Dec. 28-29 (GULF NEWS, 12/13). ... The Madeira Islands Open in Portugal will return to Santo da Serra May 16-19. The golf tournament will again form part of both the European and Challenge Tour schedules with the prize money counting toward the Race to Dubai and Challenge Tour Rankings (European Tour). ... The qualifying rounds of the 2013 Ricoh Women's Britsh Open will be held at Kingsbarns Golf Links on the eastern coast of Scotland July 29th. The Women's British Open will be held at Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland Aug. 1-4 (British Open). ... The Int'l Cricket Council announced that British territory Jersey and Botswana will host the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 6 and 7 tournaments, respectively, in '13. Botswana will host Division 7 from April 6-13, which will include Botswana, Fiji, Germany, Ghana, Nigeria and Vanuatu. The top two sides will join Kuwait, Jersey, Argentina and Bahrain in Division 6, which will be held in Jersey from July 21-18 (ICC). ... Iran will host the Asian Kabaddi Championship in Tehran next year (PTI, 12/13). ... Scottish Third Division Elgin City will bid to "avoid a repeat of the ticketing shambles," which led to its clash with Scottish Third Division Rangers being called off when it launches a public sale tonight for home supporters for the rearranged match. Tickets, which are limited to two per sale, went on sale to Elgin fans from 6:30pm to 8:30pm Thursday evening and will be again from noon to 2pm on Friday (SCOTSMAN, 12/13).