The Handa Irish Senior Open presented by Fáilte Ireland returns to the European Senior Tour schedule in 2010 when Carton House, in Maynooth, Co. Kildare, hosts the 14th edition of the tournament from June 11-13.
Fáilte Ireland, which has supported the Senior Tour event since its inception at St Margarets Golf Club in 1997, continues its long term association with the tournament and is joined by a new title sponsor for 2010, the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS), represented by Founding
Chairman, Dr.Haruhisa Handa.
In addition to the Irish Senior Open, Fáilte Ireland also supports The 3 Irish Open on The European Tour, which Carton House hosted in 2005 and 2006, tournaments won by Stephen Dodd and Thomas Björn respectively.
The leading Senior Tour players will tackle the stunning Montgomerie Course at the Kildare venue, designed by 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie, which is one of two Championship courses at Carton House created in conjunction with European Golf Design.
They will be looking to join an illustrious roll call of former champions, including Tommy Horton, winner of the inaugural event in 1997, two-time winner Seiji Ebihara (2001 and 2002), Carl Mason (2004), Ryder Cup Captain Sam Torrance (2005) and Costantino Rocca (2007).
Ian Woosnam, who led Europe to victory in The Ryder Cup in Ireland in 2006, returned to the Emerald Isle last year to add his name to the list, staging a remarkable comeback to defeat American Bob Boyd in a play-off at Ballybunion Golf Club having started the final round six shots off the pace.
The 2010 edition of the Irish Seniors Open sees , Japanese philanthropist Dr Handa, the Chairman of the International Sports Promotion Society (ISPS), - the title sponsor, extend his growing relationship with the Senior Tour.
It is the third tournament so far on the 2010 Senior Tour schedule to receive the backing of Dr Handa and ISPS; the other two being the Aberdeen Brunei Senior Masters presented by The Stapleford Forum and the Chang Thailand Senior Masters 2010 presented by ISPS.
Charles Perring, Deputy Managing Director of the European Senior Tour, said: “The Irish Senior Open is one of the cornerstones of the European Senior Tour and I’m delighted that its legacy continues in 2010 with the patronage of Dr Handa and our long term partner Failte Ireland, with Carton House hosting us for the first time at their wonderful facility. The honour roll of former champions speaks volumes of the player quality on show and with close proximity to Dublin, we hope to showcase the best of Senior golf to an enthusiastic Irish gallery.”
Martin Cullen TD, Irish Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, said: "Golfing in Ireland has long been a major tourism attraction and the Irish Senior Open is a key part of Fáilte Ireland’s excellent golf tourism promotional activity.
“I wish to congratulate Conor Mallaghan and his team at Carton House on their selection as host venue for 2010. I particularly welcome ISPS represented by Dr Handa as the new title sponsor. I wish the European Senior Tour, Dr Handa and Carton House every success in their new partnership."
Redmond O’Donoghue, Chairman Fáilte Ireland said: “On behalf of Fáilte Ireland, the national tourism development authority, I welcome the news today that ISPS is the new title sponsor of the Handa Irish Senior Open at Carton House. We are delighted to support this key element of the European Tour’s 2010 schedule as part of our overall golf marketing strategy and as part of our long and established relationship with the European Tour. Golf is one of Ireland’s greatest tourist attractions, contributing in excess of €100 million to the economy. Importantly, when golfers come to Ireland, many also take part in other activities, which provides the opportunity to promote Ireland, not only as a golfing destination but also as a holiday destination of choice.”
David Webster, General Manager of Carton House, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the European Senior Tour to Carton House and are very proud to be chosen to host what promises to be a very exciting and enjoyable event for both players and spectators alike. We look forward to welcoming and extending our hospitality to all our guests who share our passion for golf.”
Dr Handa, Chairman of ISPS, said: “The Irish Senior Open is a tournament of huge prestige and we are extremely pleased to be title sponsor of such a high profile competition in our first year of association with the European Senior Tour.
“Everyone at ISPS is thrilled about this new partnership which will help to further showcase the incredible work we do in aid of the International Blind Golf Association (IBGA) – a worthy charity.”
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming some of Senior golf’s biggest names to Carton House for the event. Their involvement throughout the tournament week will undoubtedly help to further raise awareness of our work with the IBGA.”
The Carton House estate is home to the headquarters of The Golfing Union of Ireland, the oldest Golfing Union in the world, and the GUI Academy which opened in 2006 and is the premiere teaching facility in the country