Tayto Tasty New Title Sponsor for Northern Ireland Open

June 20, 2016

One iconic brand combined with one internationally acclaimed tournament creates a potent force as the Tayto Northern Ireland Open, in partnership with Ulster Bank, promises to serve up a mouthwatering spectacle when the action gets underway at Galgorm Castle from July 28-31.

‘Mr Tayto and Michael Hoey'

‘Mr Tayto and Michael Hoey’

It is fitting that a home grown success story like Tayto has elevated its commitment to become the new NI Open Title Sponsor. As one of Northern Ireland’s most recognisable international brands it has supported tournament golf at Galgorm for many years and now it has taken on a lead role in the same year Tayto celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Paul Allen, chief executive of Tayto, commented: “We are delighted to become the title sponsor of this prestigious event, which showcases the very best of the sport and the country to the world.

“After being involved on a smaller scale for a number of years, we felt that in our 60th anniversary year, it was the perfect time extend our sponsorship. We appreciate the commitment involved from all parties in organising such an international spectacle and as a local business operating on a global scale, this feels like a natural fit for the Tayto brand as we too bring the very best of Northern Ireland to the rest of the world.

“We are looking forward to welcoming players and spectators alike to the Tayto Northern Ireland Open and firmly believe that 2016’s event is going to be more successful than ever.”

Now in its fourth year, the tournament has become one of the standout events on the European Challenge Tour. Last year the province’s annual international tournament set the tour’s all-time attendance record when 39,423 spectators came through the gates to witness France’s Clément Sordet be crowned champion. Organisers are confident this year’s numbers will exceed 40,000 at one of the province’s best live sporting events of the year.

“This is by far the best professional event I have played in,” said last year’s winner Sordet, who closed with a final round 66 for a 17-under-par 267 winning aggregate to receive the €27,200 winner’s cheque. The Frenchman went on to qualify for the upcoming Open Championship at Royal Troon by finishing 2nd in the Thailand Golf Championship at the end of 2015.

Gary Henry, managing director at Galgorm Castle, welcomed today’s announcement and looks forward to Tayto becoming a key player in the tournament’s success story.

“Tayto is a brand that is recognised the world over and a company that is very proud of its Northern Ireland roots. Our tournament strapline says ‘Performing on the World Stage’ and this is something Tayto has been doing successfully for so many years,” said Henry.

“We are delighted to have Tayto on board and look forward to working more closely with them and our other partners for what promises to be the biggest and best NI Open yet. As we welcome all our visitors to Galgorm at the end of July for another great tournament, we will also help celebrate Tayto’s 60th anniversary.”

Players are quick to pencil the event into their schedules at the start of the year and it’s easy to see why considering the quality of venue and level of detail that makes it one of the best stop-offs on the European Challenge Tour.

Another exceptionally strong field will compete at Galgorm with a mix of leading international players and a full spectrum from closer to home.

“The Tayto NI Open will be another great field because there are so many good young Irish players who have turned professional in recent years. You could pick out any one of six or seven, who will all feature at Galgorm. Their presence is a real boost for the tournament,” said Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey in reference to the ‘Famous Five’ Irish Walker Cup players from 2015 plus other Irish players plying their trade on the Challenge Tour or are proven winners on the European Tour.

“Damien (McGrane), Peter (Lawrie) and Simon (Thornton) have all indicated to me they are keen to play at Galgorm. Then you have the exciting new talent like Gary Hurley, Gavin Moynihan, Cormac Sharvin and others who will play.”

Perhaps the most excitement of all surrounds the youngest player in the field after teenage sensation Tom McKibbin received an invite to compete with Europe’s top professionals.

“I’ve played with Tom a few times and he’s a great lad. He and his family are very grounded, there will be no expectations. You have to remember, he is still only 13. That said he is the real deal and can hit the shots. I hope he enjoys the experience,” added Hoey.

The week-long festival of golf, combined with the dedicated Food Festival, art exhibition from golf portrait specialist Mark Robinson, Fun Golf Area, NI Open Village and more promises to serve up something special for all the family. Tickets for the Tayto NI Open, in partnership with Ulster Bank, are free and can be secured by registering online at niopen.golf.

VIDEO: “Mr Tayto lends a hand to Tournament Ambassador Michael Hoey, as he prepares for the upcoming Tayto Northern Ireland Open, in partnership with Ulster Bank at Galgorm Castle from July 28th – 31st” https://vimeo.com/171198979 

ENDS