In the wake of his Canadian Open victory on Sunday, Rory McIlroy was asked if he intended returning to the country next year to defend his crown.
The tournament’s date-change this year dovetailed with preparation for the third major of the season, the US Open.
Committing to 2020 as defending champion is all but obligatory, so long as it didn’t clash with a couple of dates already red-marked in McIlroy’s diary for next year.
He’s not alone. Without much fuss or fanfare, the JP McManus pro-am event announced last week that Phil Mickelson had signed up for the Adare Manor classic next year in what will be his first visit to this country in 14 years, the last time being the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K club.
Though the Mickelson confirmation caught the eye, the addition to the field of Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm, Henrik Stenson, and Paul Casey hardly amounted to sloppy seconds either.
Already a year out, it’s a lock that the sixth staging of the JP McManus Pro-Am will deliver the type of stellar field only the majors command. And all on our doorstep.
McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Justin Rose and a host of golfing celebrities have already committed more than a year in advance. The only surprise when they tee it up on July 6-7 2020 is if any of the reigning major champions aren’t present and correct.
The tournament host said: “We are very grateful to them for lending their support to the Pro-Am next year. Hopefully, the thousands of spectators will be delighted with this news.”
Charitable organisations in the mid-west will again reap the financial benefits of the event, with millions raised since the event was first held in 1990.
Qualifier events for the good and the great continue across Munster this month, with a single stable ford format and the best two scores of three counting at each hole.
Those events are at Ballykisteen next Friday (June 14), Charleville on Friday and Saturday, Castletroy on June 20-21 and Castletroy on June 28. All entry details can be found at: jpmcmanusproam.com/events. Pro-Am ticket caps are priced at €50, which admits holders to both days of the tournament.
Tickets for the 2020 JP McManus Pro-Am are on sale from: jpmcmanusproam.com/tickets