Golf

Adare Manor to host 2026 Ryder Cup

Ireland has ridden the crest of The Open wave to host the Ryder Cup for the first time in 20 years.

Ryder Cup bosses have admitted the overwhelming success of the major's return to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland last week tipped the scales for Adare Manor to stage the biennial challenge in 2026.

The Government of Ireland agreed a deal with Ryder Cup chiefs for the Limerick course to become Ireland's first host venue since the K Club in 2006.

European Ryder Cup director Guy Kinnings admitted there were precious few hesitations in selecting Adare Manor.

"This is a world-class venue, both in terms of the golf course and the wider resort facilities," said Kinnings.

"Months of careful negotiation behind the scenes have seen us arrive at this point and we could not be happier to be able to take golf's greatest team contest back to Ireland.

Adare Manor owner JP McManus (right) and general manager Colm Hannon.

Adare Manor owner JP McManus (right) and general manager Colm Hannon.

"Equally in receipt of our appreciation are Adare Manor owners JP and Noreen McManus and their entire team at the magnificent County Limerick venue. JP has shown unwavering support for golf and the European Tour over many years and we are delighted that Adare Manor will be the venue to showcase the next chapter in Ireland's Ryder Cup story in seven years' time.

"Aside from having provided three captains over the past four editions, in addition to world-class talent such as Rory McIlroy, Irish players such as the late Christy O'Connor Jnr, Philip Walton, Eamonn Darcy, Graeme McDowell and Paul McGinley are intrinsically linked with providing Europe's winning moments over the years.

"Added to that the fact that Irish golf fans are rightly recognised as some of the most knowledgeable and passionate in the world, as was shown during Shane Lowry's emotional Open Championship triumph at Royal Portrush on Sunday, there was no question in our minds that the time was right."

Northern Ireland's Royal Portrush last week hosted The Open for the first time in 68 years, and the tournament's overwhelming success has handed the island of Ireland an immediate boost.

The Adare Manor resort was revamped in 2014 at a cost of €70 million.

The Adare Manor resort was revamped in 2014 at a cost of €70 million.

That feel-good factor was hoisted by home favourite Shane Lowry sweeping his maiden major title, and now Irish golf has received another shot in the arm.

Irish racehorse owner JP McManus bought Adare Manor in December 2014, and revamped the entire resort at a cost of a reported €70 million.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar hailed both a sporting and economic boost for Ireland.

"I am delighted that Ireland will be the host of The Ryder Cup in 2026," said Varadkar.

"It is great news for Ireland, and for County Limerick and the west of Ireland in particular. This news comes at the end of an historic week for golf on the island of Ireland, following the hugely successful hosting of the Open Championship by Royal Portrush Golf Club, and the historic victory by one of Ireland's most popular sporting heroes, Shane Lowry.

"Shane's victory is one of many great achievements by Irish golfers, not just in Major Championships but also in The Ryder Cup. Over the years, Irish captains and Irish players have played a huge role in the success of the European team.

"I am sure that when The Ryder Cup comes to Adare, we will see many more great sporting memories created, and great sporting friendships forged.

"It will be a fantastic occasion for everyone on the island of Ireland, and for the many visitors from both sides of the Atlantic who can look forward to another great Irish welcome."

McIlroy claims 'fifth major' on St Patrick's Day

Rory McIlroy on his way to victory at the Players Championship in Florida. Picture: Lynne Sladky

Rory McIlroy on his way to victory at the Players Championship in Florida. Picture: Lynne Sladky

Rory McIlroy celebrated St Patrick's Day in brilliant style becoming the first Irishman to win the prestigious Players Championship after a thrilling final round at Sawgrass.

McIlroy will take renewed confidence into his bid to win a genuine fifth major title at the Masters to complete the career grand slam.

McIlroy recovered from an early double bogey to card a closing 70 and finish 16 under par, one shot ahead of former Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, who had threatened to become the oldest winner in tournament history. Furyk set the clubhouse target with a 67 that included two birdies in the last three holes, the 48-year-old - who is less than a month older than 2005 champion Fred Funk - hitting a brilliant approach to just three feet at the last.

However, McIlroy bounced back from a bogey on the 14th with birdies at the next two holes to move back into the lead and safely negotiated the treacherous 17th and 18th to secure a 15th PGA Tour title after starting the season with five consecutive top-six finishes.

McIlroy told Sky Sports: "It's very special. I just tried to treat it like any other day. Even though I've had all those close calls this year, they didn't mean anything.

"If anything they were good for me, I called them 'remote misses', it gives you even more hope to go forward and go again. I think all those experiences this year led me to this point and ultimately they were good for me because it got me over the line today.

"The birdie on 12 was huge to give me a bit of momentum and the final few holes were tough. To get that birdie on 15 after the dropped shot on 14 was massive.

"I knew 16 was a good chance and to par the last two holes and hit three good shots when I needed to, that gives me a lot of confidence going forward."

The victory comes just weeks before McIlroy will attempt to win the Masters and become only the sixth player to complete a career grand slam.

The 29-year-old Northern Irishman added: "If I hadn't have won today I would have said I don't need a win going into Augusta, but it's very nice to get a win, especially doing it on this golf course, honestly a golf course that played a little bit similar to the way Augusta will play in a few weeks' time.

"I can take a lot from this. It's taken me a few weeks to get to this point but I feel like I'm playing some of the best golf of my life right now and I just need to keep going with it and keep doing the same things."

While Shane Lowry missed the cut, Seamus Power finished in a tie for 35th on three-under. The Waterford’ man’s third round included a hole-in-one on the 155-yard third hole.