The inaugural Lough Erne Challenge will take place on July 22 this year between Irish golfing superstars Padraig Harrington and Rory Mcllroy.
The two will battle it out in an 18-hole stroke play competition at the course in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh for a purse of $300,000. The Lough Erne course was designed by six-time major winner Nick Faldo and officially opens on July 1.
The event happens just three days after the British Open in Turnberry, and there are 4,000 tickets available. Jim Treacy, who owns the Lough Erne Resort, is delighted to be hosting the Challenge.
"The fact that two of the most important and exciting figures in world golf are Irish and both are in the world's top 20 made it compelling to pit them against each other in this special event," he said.
Mcllroy, who is also sponsored by the Resort, was on hand to announce the challenge on Tuesday, and can't wait to go one-on-one with triple-major winner Harrington.
"The opportunity to play against Padraig, on what is in some ways my home turf, is exciting. Padraig is a fantastic player - a real role model for someone like me starting out on my career," said the phenom. "Jim Treacy has been a real support to me and I have watched the development of the Championship course at Lough Erne with great interest."
Course-designer Faldo is looking forward to showcasing the natural beauty of the area. “Pádraig and Rory are among the very best in the world right now, and they have massive global reputations which will help attract interest in Lough Erne and Fermanagh as a whole," said the former world number one.
" I believe the golf course will emerge to be a top golfing location, but it is important to emphasize the extraordinary beauty of the whole area, and staging this event should help to bring this message to a wider audience. I look forward to officially opening the golf course.”
Harrington joined the launch via satellite from the States where he is readying himself for this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida.
"It is good to be promoting this part of the island through the establishment of this event and I hope the north's golf fans will come out to see myself and Rory compete on the shores of the Lough."