Rory McIlroy's Irish Open set to raise a cool million for charity
Generous Rory McIlroy will tee off in front of the biggest gallery of the day at Portstewart at 1.20pm this lunchtime, aiming to make a million.
That is his charity target with McIlroy ready to once again donate all his winnings from this year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open to the Rory Foundation, his own charitable foundation and the tournament host.
Last year, the four-time Major winner donated his winning prize cheque of €666,660 from The K Club to the Foundation, which contributes to various local children's charities and which has chosen Sport Changes Life and The Harry Gregg Foundation as the beneficiaries from this year's event.
On top of McIlroy's own contribution to the Rory Foundation, the European Tour organisers will donate £100,000. With a total prize fund of £5.5million and £900,000 to the winner, Portstewart is set to deliver a significant charity boost from a tournament ready to kick on from the buzz of yesterday's hugely entertaining, star-studded pro-am.
Eager to get started, defending champion McIlroy said: "The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open has become one of the biggest weeks in the year, not only for me, but for our Foundation. We're able to raise a lot of money for worthy causes during this week, and that started on Tuesday night with a great evening in Belfast with Pep Guardiola. We were able to raise a lot of money through that.
"I'm able to donate my prize money to the Foundation as well and obviously, with a £5.5million prize fund that is going to be substantial if I play any way decent. It's an added bonus that the European Tour Foundation has pledged £100,000 to our Foundation.
"We raised over a €1 million last year and hopefully we can do the same this year."
RORY'S LESONS FROM TIGER: Pages 54-55