Talks are underway between European Tour officials and Fota Island representatives to bring the golf event back to Cork for the first time since 2002.
The 780-acre resort was sold in August to the Kang family from China for around €20m, with the new owners pledging to bring an international golf tournament back to the resort for the first time in over a decade. It is understood Fota have put a substantial financial package on the table for Tour officials to consider.
This has led to a visit at the weekend to Cork by European Tour officials looking for an alternative to last year’s Open venue at Carton House. It is believed Druid’s Glen is also in the running to host the 2014 Open. The venue was a key point for discussion between Bord Fáilte officials and the Tour on the margins of the Irish Golf Tour Operators Association (IGTOA) conference at the Hotel Europe in Killarney last night.
Tour officials have made the point in the past that they have greater access to corporate sponsorship if the Open remains in the greater Dublin area.
Industry sources suggests it would take an offer in excess of €250,000 to lure the Open away from the capital.