BMW drives into Royal Portrush

GERMAN car manufacturer BMW has become the official car of the Irish Open golf event for the next three years.

The 2012 Irish Open will be played in Northern Ireland for the first time in almost 60 years at the famous Royal Portrush links course from June 28 to July 1.

The field will include several Major winners, most notably the current Open and US Open Champions, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

Peter Walker, general manager of sports marketing at BMW (UK Ltd), said: “BMW is delighted to extend its association with the Irish Open for a further three years. We are all excited at the prospect of the event being played at such a spectacular course and in front of some of the largest and most knowledgeable crowds in golf.”

Walker also pointed out that, as well as the Irish Open, BMW’s long-term commitment to golf’s European Tour “can be seen by its title sponsorship of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club, the BMW International Open in Germany and the recently announced BMW Masters in China.”

Added Walker: “In addition, the company also supports 20 tournaments globally with official car partnerships and was an official partner of The 2010 Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort.”

James Finnigan, commercial director of the Irish Open, said: “BMW is an outstanding long-term partner of The European Tour in general and the Irish Open in particular.

“We are delighted to be able to extend our arrangement with BMW through until 2014 and to know that the players, officials and VIPs will have the best possible service during the tournament.”