NI Open still heading in One Direction with Niall Horan
Rory McIlroy's good pal Niall Horan and his management company Modest! Golf are once again backing the popular Northern Ireland Open at Galgorm Castle.
Modest! Golf and the One Direction star return for a third consecutive year and record crowds are expected once more when the European Challenge Tour's prestigious event takes place at the Ballymena venue from August 16 to 19.
Musician Horan may be in the Emirates this week supporting his players and friend Rory but he's also looking forward to the action at Galgorm.
The Northern Ireland Open has evolved into a global event since its inception as a European Tour Group event in 2013 and Horan explained: "We are delighted to announce Modest! Golf's return to the Northern Ireland Open for the third year. The event has grown every year and we look forward to linking up with Galgorm Castle and the Challenge Tour once again."
Fellow Modest! Golf Director Mark McDonnell added: "Last year Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, challenged all the major stakeholders in golf to do their bit to introduce golf to new audiences.
"We played our part in that by attracting the biggest ever crowd to a Challenge Tour event with the introduction of Shootout Sunday.
"Interest in the NI Open has never been higher and we are excited to return to the traditional four days strokeplay and look forward to welcoming new audiences to experience the best Challenge Tour event in the world."