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Once in a lifetime prize on offer for Irish Open fans who 'putt' themselves in the picture

By Adam McKendry

One lucky young golf fan will win a money can't buy prize thanks to the organisers of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation - and all they have to do is 'putt' themselves in the picture.

This year's event takes place at the stunning Ballyliffin Golf Club in County Donegal from July 5-8, and one young fan will win their school a visit from the Waterford Crystal trophy as well as a family pass and a VIP tour of the facilities at the event during Wednesday's Pro-Am.

To enter the competition, schoolchildren of all ages – or their parents and teachers - should simply submit a golf-themed drawing or painting of anything that inspires them, whether it be their favourite golfer, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open trophy or a self-portrait of themselves on the golf course.

A judging panel will assess all of the entries after the closing date of Sunday June 10, and the winner will have the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open trophy come to their school, where there will be a Q&A with European Tour and Rory Foundation representatives.

Children will also get an insight into the life of a professional golfer with eight-time European Tour winner and two-time Ryder Cup player Des Smyth, who is now a tournament ambassador for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

In addition, the winner will get a family pass and VIP tour for Wednesday's Pro-Am, where they will get the opportunity to see world class players up close such as tournament host Rory McIlroy, former US Open champion Graeme McDowell and defending Dubai Duty Free Irish Open champion Jon Rahm.

The winning picture will also be displayed at the tournament for players and spectators to see, and it will be signed by McIlroy and Rahm before being auctioned off to raise funds for the winner's school, while the winner will get a signed copy from McIlroy and Rahm to keep.

Entries should be emailed to trophytour@duffyrafferty.com along with contact details and the child's name, age, address and school.

Alternatively, adults can tweet their child's photos to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Twitter account (@ddfirishopen) or post on the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Facebook page - these must be accompanied with the hashtags #ddfirishopen and #puttyourselfinthepicture.

Championship Director Simon Alliss said: “We are delighted to launch our fourth annual children’s competition. This year we are asking kids to send us an inspiring golf-themed picture of something that means a lot to them.

"We can’t wait to go through all entries and see, through a child’s eye, what they love about golf.  The prize is extraordinary and really a one off that is unique to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. We look forward to welcoming the winners at this year’s tournament and provide them with an experience of a lifetime!”

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice President and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said: “I think that it is fantastic for the tournament to go out to the schools in Ireland and really be part of the community.  I am sure that there will be a lot of entries in this competition and thanks to all those involved in organising and participating in this initiative.”

Brian McIlroy of the Rory Foundation said:  “Our annual Dubai Duty Free Irish Open children’s competition is part of a lasting legacy that is designed to interest and encourage the younger generation to take up the wonderful sport of golf - which is something that Rory himself is very passionate about.

"Every year we are absolutely amazed at the standard of entries sent to us by children from every corner of Ireland and I suspect this year will not disappoint.  I know that Rory, like myself and the wider team, can’t wait to see the drawings!”

This year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is once again part of the European Tour's Rolex Series, which has a boosted prize fund of $7million and provides additional points towards Europe's Ryder Cup team.

Tickets are still available at www.europeantour.com/tickets.

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