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Page last updated at 10:34 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 11:34 UK

Lough Erne could host Tour event

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy will play at Lough Erne in July

The Lough Erne golf resort in County Fermanagh could host the first European Tour event ever to be staged in Northern Ireland next year.

Chubby Chandler, promoter of the British Masters, says he is keen to see the prestigious tour event take place in Northern Ireland in 2010.

"We're set to open discussions with the Lough Erne team and various parties to see if we can make it happen," he said.

"It's definitely not certain but it'd be a big thing for Northern Ireland."

Chandler added: "We hope to get the backing of Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell and make the British Masters become a reality in Northern Ireland.

"Northern Irish golf is so strong at the moment that if ever there was a time to have a European Tour event in that country it has got to be now.

"There are six Northern Irish players on the European Tour and that absolutely lends credence to our efforts to do something in Northern Ireland.

"Lough Erne is a great venue, somewhere that Ireland can be proud of, and we would want to get as many Northern Ireland companies involved as possible.

"If you get a venue in the diary, then that gives you something to sell," he added.

The British Masters is not on the European Tour calendar for 2009.

Rory McIlroy will take on Open Champion Padraig Harrington in an 18 holes strokeplay match at the Nick Faldo-designed Fermanagh venue on 22 July.

The match will have a prize fund of just over £200,000 and organisers say that 4,000 tickets will be available for the event.

The event will take place at the height of the golf season - three days after the conclusion of The Open.

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see also
McIlroy/Harrington clash at Erne
24 Mar 09 |  Golf

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