RAFA Cabrera Bello will be hoping to emulate his Spanish compatriot Jon Rahm by claiming the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation title this July, while his 2016 Ryder Cup team-mates – English trio Matthew Fitzpatrick, Chris Wood and Danny Willett – have also confirmed their participation in the prestigious Rolex Series event.
World Number 24 Cabrera Bello already has one Rolex Series title to his name, having won last year’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open, and the 33 year old has a strong record on Irish soil having come close to victory in 2012 when he claimed a share of second place at Royal Portrush Golf Club.
The Canary Islands native, who also has two other top fives and an additional top ten to his name in the island of Ireland’s national Open, will be looking to make it two Spanish victories in successive years, where fellow countryman and World Number Four Rahm will defend the prestigious title at Ballyliffin Golf Club, from July 5-8.
As one of the European Tour’s eight Rolex Series events, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will carry extra Ryder Cup points for those players hoping to earn a place in Thomas Bjørn’s team for Le Golf National in September.
Following his impressive debut performance at Hazeltine National in 2016, Cabrera Bello will be hoping for a big summer if he is to have a chance of playing in Paris in four months’ time.
“I am really looking forward to returning to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and playing in front of the Irish crowds again,” said Cabrera Bello. “It is a tournament which has been very good to me through the years and I love links golf.
“I have never played Ballyliffin but it looks like we are in for a treat in Donegal. I have had some good results on the European Tour this season so far, but I know I can play well and win on links courses so I’m confident of making that count and hopefully contending for the title in Ireland.”
Fitzpatrick, who has one top ten to his name at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, said: “I love playing in Ireland and I’m a huge fan of links golf so I’m looking forward to returning to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open again. The fans are always extremely knowledgeable and supportive and that’s one of the main reasons why I love playing that event every year.”
Three-time European Tour winner Wood said: “I’ve got a pretty good record at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open so I’m looking forward to returning this year. Unfortunately I missed the event last year, but the links golf combined with the big Irish crowds always makes it a special event on the calendar and it should be a great week at Ballyliffin.”
Willett, the 2016 Masters Champion, said: “I’m really looking forward to playing at Ballyliffin this year. I’ve managed to play pretty well at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, although I was forced to retire last year due to the injury I was struggling with at the time. I’m now working hard on getting my game back to where it should be and hopefully I can hit some form at the right time in the summer.”
For any of the Spanish or English stars to get their hands on the coveted Dubai Duty Free Irish Open trophy, they will of course have to contend with a very strong Irish contingent which includes stars like tournament host Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell, Shane Lowry and Paul Dunne.
Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation are on sale at www.europeantour.com/ticketsand begin at €20 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with tickets for Thursday and Friday costing€32 and day tickets for the weekend costing €34 each. An adult season souvenir ticket, which covers five days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, costs just €110.
Concessions are available for customers aged over 60 and between 14 and 17, while children up to 13 are permitted free entry when accompanied by a ticket holding adult.
Official Hospitality tickets are also available on the ticketing page, or alternatively contact the European Tour’s dedicated Hospitality Sales Team, who will be happy to answer any queries and discuss the various hospitality options, on firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 1344 840681.
MEDIA ENQUIRIES: For further information, please contact Michael Rafferty of Duffy Rafferty Communications on +44 (0) 28 9073 0880 or email@example.com.
About the European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2018, the European Tour International Schedule will feature a minimum of 47 tournaments in 30 countries, including eight Rolex Series events, all part of the Race to Dubai.
Celebrating the global connectivity of the European Tour and Dubai, the Race to Dubai is a season-long competition to crown the European Tour’s Number One player, an honour which in 2017 went to England’s Tommy Fleetwood for the first time, and which, since 2009, has also been achieved three times by Rory McIlroy, twice by Henrik Stenson, and once each by Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald.
Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 27 Members celebrate a total of 53 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on the Tour.
The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which featured 27 tournaments in 21 countries in 2017, and the Senior Tour, which featured 16 tournaments in 12 countries in 2017 and which, from the 2018 season onwards, will be known as the Staysure Tour. It is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup. In 2018, the 42nd staging of the biennial contest between Europe and the United States of America will take place at Le Golf National, France, from September 28-30.
The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Emirates, Hilton and Titleist as Official Partners.
About the Rolex Series
The Rolex Series is the premium tournament category on the European Tour’s International Schedule, comprising eight events in 2018, staged in a variety of golfing locations around the world, each with a minimum prize fund of US$7 million.
Launched in 2017, the Rolex Series showcases innovation, enhanced broadcast and digital coverage, and world class players, with the list of champions in the first year comprising: Alex Noren (Sweden), Tommy Fleetwood (England), two-time winner Jon Rahm (Spain), Rafa Cabrera Bello (Spain), Tyrrell Hatton (England), Justin Rose (England) and Branden Grace (South Africa).
The 2018 roster of Rolex Series tournaments is: the BMW PGA Championship (May 24-27); the Italian Open (May 31-June 3), HNA Open de France (June 28-July 1); the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation (July 5-8); the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15); the Turkish Airlines Open (November 1-4); the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player (November 8-11); and the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai (November 15-18), where the leading golfer on the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex will be crowned.