World's Number One, Rory McIlroy, has waived his $2 million appearance fee to compete in next year’s Irish Open.
A sign of the Holywood star's loyalty to his home country, the golfing pro is sure to boost attendance at Carton House next June, when he tees up on the Montgomerie Course from June 27-30.
"It would be daft if we didn't make absolutely sure that Rory, while he is number one in the world, plays in the Irish Open," said European Tour chief George O'Grady.
Fellow Major champion Padraig Harrington described McIlroy’s commitment as "fantastic."
"It means the event is already on a winner," he said. "I'm sure you know how much it costs to get Rory to play an event, and he's playing in the Irish Open for free because he loves to play in it.”
"Rory has created so much of a buzz around the world, he's wanted at every tournament there is. Yet he's already committed to the Irish Open – what a guarantee that is."
On December 3, the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland was named PGA Tour Player of the Year.
"It's an honor, and I am delighted to win the PGA Tour's player of the year," McIlroy said accepting the award. "It's always nice to earn recognition from your peers, the guys you're trying to beat week in and week out."
He was also awarded the 2012 Golf Writers' Trophy this week.