Belfast Telegraph

Victor to get whiskey reserve keys

The winner of golf's Irish Open will be awarded a special bottle of Bushmills whiskey and access to the distillery's private reserve as part of a sponsorship deal, the company has announced.

The victor in the June 28 contest will be granted a special bottle of Bushmills in a bespoke cabinet which will enjoy pride of place at the North Coast company but will only ever be opened by the winner, master distiller Colum Egan said.

The sponsorship means Bushmills, four miles from event venue Royal Portrush, will be the official whiskey of the 2012 Irish Open.

Mr Egan said: "It has been 65 years since the Irish Open was contested at Royal Portrush Golf Club and I am delighted that Bushmills Irish Whiskey will be part of one of the biggest sporting events to have ever been staged on the North Coast of Ireland.

"With the success at Majors in recent years of Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell, we are a region that is no stranger to golfing success. These three great sportsmen represent the very best of sporting achievement."

Mr Egan is offering the winner the "Freedom of the Old Bushmills Distillery", granting him keys to his private reserve.

He will also place a bottle containing a special blend of Bushmills in a bespoke cabinet, handmade from oak, at the distillery, only ever to be opened by the winner himself.

Mr Egan added: "Good luck to everyone taking part and hopefully I will be raising a toast of our award-winning handcrafted whiskey to an Irish winner on July 1."

Emirates this week announced it would be the official airline of the Open. The Dubai-based airline said its agreement with included course branding, tournament hospitality and advertising.

The companies join Moy Park, Dale Farm, BMW and Brewin Dolphin investors as event sponsors.

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