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Tour to confirm Irish Open for Fota

Golf’s European Tour will today confirm Fota Island resort in Cork as the home of the 2014 Irish Open.

The decision is a massive boost for the region, with more than 120,000 spectators expected to attend the Jun 19-22 event.

Major winners Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, and Padraig Harrington are expected to commit to their national open, even though it is immediately after the US Open at Pinehurst.

The Chinese owners of the Fota resort, the Kang family, have committed over €400,000 to secure the Open. The 560-acre resort last hosted the event in 2002, and will undertake work on a number of new tees to extend the length of its Deerpark course.

Tour officials visited Fota on Thursday and Friday to finalise a deal with the resort. There will be no title sponsor but Fáilte Ireland will finance the majority of the event purse, though there is extra support from at least one local sponsor.

"If it is confirmed, it is an enormous boost to Cork and the broader Munster region," said Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy. "It is not only a boost to Cork from a sporting perspective but also from a tourism one."

Early estimates put the value of the event to the Cork area as high as €65m.