Rory McIlroy will step away as tournament host of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open this year but he is leaving behind an event in remarkable health.
Yesterday, Dubai Duty Free extended its title sponsorship of the tournament taking the partnership through to 2022.
The historic tournament has reached new heights since Dubai Duty Free began its title sponsorship in 2015, with the prize fund increasing year-on-year from €2.5 million to a record $7 million last year following its inauguration as one of the European Tour's eight Rolex Series events.
This year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation will take place in Ballyliffin Golf Club in Co Donegal from July 5-8 where world number three Jon Rahm will defend the title he won at Portstewart last year.
It is seen by many as something of a risk for the tour to take this event to the north west of Ireland but Ballyliffin general manager John Farren is convinced the tournament will be a roaring success.
"It is a big big deal for this part of the world," said John.
"We are very grateful that the Tour had the confidence to bring this event to the region.
"They are breaking new ground but we will seize this opportunity and we will be ready."
Farren was bullish about the prospects of big crowds attending the tournament pointing to the likely support of thousands of fans from across the border.
Farren added; "Ballyliffin is held in very high esteem across Ireland. Our proximity to Northern Ireland means that it is very accessible and the Northern Ireland golfing fans, well, they travel to Irish Opens no matter where they are.