RORY McIlroy will go straight from the defence of his BMW PGA Championship title into his new role as tournament host of the Irish Open next year.
The full European Tour schedule for 2015, which was released yesterday, sees the Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation move to a new date in late May, immediately after the flagship event at Wentworth which provided McIlroy’s first win of a phenomenal 2014.
The Irish Open will be staged in the world No 1’s native Northern Ireland at Royal County Down, one of seven new venues among the minimum 47 tournaments held from December this year to November 2015. There are also six new tournaments in the shape of the Thailand Classic, Hero Indian Open, Shenzhen International, AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open, Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Matchplay and the European Open. And it is understood that the British Masters could return to the schedule for the first time since 2008, with Woburn the likely venue for an event in the second week of October.
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The date and venue for the World Match Play Championship has yet to be decided, with Volvo ending its sponsorship after this year’s event at The London Club.
Keith Waters, chief operating officer and director of international policy for the European Tour, said: “We are very pleased to announce our full schedule for 2015, a schedule which offers our membership diversity, interest, excitement and variety at a host of wonderful venues in all four corners of the globe.
“We are delighted to have been able to add so many new tournaments and destinations to the Tour and we are pleased that our scheduling has enabled us to create significant clusters of tournaments in the same regions of the world, whether that be in Asia, the Middle East or indeed South Africa where we are holding six events next season.
“Our thanks, as always, go to our federation and co-sanctioning partners, sponsors and promoters for their continued support of the European Tour, and we can all look forward to a strong opening to the 2015 Race to Dubai, which will appeal to our membership as well as the many followers of the European Tour around the world.”
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