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Dubai Duty Free extends backing of golf’s Irish Open

Airport retailer Dubai Duty Free has renewed its title sponsorship of the Irish Open European Tour golf event.

The new four-year deal runs until the 2022 edition of the tournament, which is hosted by Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and his charitable foundation.

Dubai Duty Free began title sponsoring the event in 2015. Last year, its prize fund stood at €7m ($8.3m) as it was added to the European Tour’s lucrative Rolex Series, which comprises eight events.

This year, the Irish Open will take place from July 5-8 at the Ballyliffin Golf Club in County Donegal. Spaniard Jon Rahm (pictured) is the defending champion having shot a tournament record 24-under-par at last year’s event at Portstewart in Londonderry.

From next year, McIlroy will share hosting duties with four of the island of Ireland’s most successful golfers of recent times – 2014 Ryder Cup-winning captain Paul McGinley and major winners Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell.

Dubai Duty Free ambassador and eight-time European Tour winner Des Smyth will also become an Irish Open ambassador as part of the retailer’s new sponsorship deal with the tournament.

Smyth will work closely with the European Tour and the tournament’s future hosts in order to ensure a smooth and consistent evolution of the tournament in the new format over the next four years.