In 2012, Emirates signed its first sponsorship deal in Ireland by becoming the Official Airline of the Irish Open. The three-year partnership further demonstrates Emirates’ commitment to Ireland following the launch of the airline’s daily service linking Dublin and Dubai in January 2012.
Now widely regarded as one of the premier events on golf’s European Tour, the inaugural Irish Open was held in 1927 and has been played at a number of courses across the Emerald Isle. The 2012 tournament was hosted at the spectacular Royal Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, the first time it had been contested in Northern Ireland for 59 years.
Record crowds for a European Tour event saw Jamie Donaldson clinch his maiden European Tour title at the 255th time of asking, as he shot an impressive 18 under over the 72 holes. The Welshman emerged victorious from a star-studded field which included major winners and local favourites Rory Mcilroy, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke. Donaldson produced eight birdies in his final round to fend off challengers Anthony Wall, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Fabrizio Zanotti and Mikael Lundberg, winning emphatically by four strokes, much to the delight of the 112,280 spectators.
In addition to the Irish Open, Emirates is a proud supporter of a number of other golf events around the world, including The Ryder Cup, Austrian Golf Open, UBS Hong Kong Open, Dubai World Championship, BMW International Open 2012, Japan Open, WGC-HSBC Champions, Emirates Australian Open Championship, Australian PGA Championship, Avantha Masters, Ballantine’s Championship, Barclays Singapore Open, Maybank Malaysian Open, Thailand Open and Alstom Open de France.