Anyone who made it to the K Club for the Irish Open back in May will have fond memories of a brilliant tournament that was played out in glorious sunshine over a four day period.
The fact that Rory McIlroy -the tournament host- won his first Irish Open title on the Kildare golf course added to the sense of euphoria around the venue, and anyone who witnessed McIlroy's approach shot on the final hole on the Sunday will remember it for a long time to come.
It was so impressive that the European Tour have announced that his stunning five wood into the 18th green has been voted as the European Tour’s Best shot of 2016.
On the 72nd hole of the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, tournament host Rory McIlroy faced 252 yards, over water, to a back pin. He was leading by just a single shot and knew one good swing would see him win his national Open for the first time. The shot that followed started over the water, landed on the green and came to rest less than three feet from the hole.
Rory McIlroy delighted the fans at The K Club as the home favourite overcame a stern challenge from Russell Knox to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The Rory Foundation also benefitted to the tune of €666,660, as McIlroy donated his winner’s cheque to the charity which hosts the tournament.
Director of Golf at The K Club, Sharon Smurfit said, “it was an incredible moment, we have witnessed some fine golf here over the years but I think Rory’s shot at the 18th was one of the most memorable. The crowd just went wild, the energy and excitement was palpable. To honour this amazing shot we have installed a plaque on the 18th so that everyone can remember that incredible moment. It’s also fun for our members and guests who like to try and put themselves into Rory’s shoes and see if they can recreate it themselves!”
Michael Davern, CEO of The K Club said, “It’s been an extraordinary twelve months for us here with numerous milestones to mark and celebrate. It was fantastic to be the venue for The Dubai Duty Free Irish open hosted by the Rory Foundation last summer. The tournament was an enormous success and Rory McIlory was just majestic much to the delight of the 90,000 spectators who were here. An enormous amount of work and preparation went into preparing for the tournament, the green keepers and golf team carried out phenomenal work and all of the players remarked that the course was in superb condition. We are delighted that the European Tour and the fans voted for Rory’s s famous shot here to be the very best of the year.”
The K Club also celebrated its 25th anniversary last summer and marked the 10th anniversary of the staging of the Ryder Cup. In the last year, over €20 million has been spent renovating and extending the property. 70 new bedrooms were added as well as a new bar and restaurant, a new conference room and over €250,000 has been spent on the second course, The Smurfit course in the last few months.
“We are very pleased with the quality of our golf courses,” said Sharon, “huge work has recently gone into the Smurfit course and we are delighted with the results. Drainage works have now been completed with 3,000 metres of drainage systems being added, we brought in a new type of grass to add greater colour and density, the greens have been reseeded and all the lakes have been restocked. It’s great to have it done and it really adds to our member and guests playing experience.”
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