GOLF: Ryder Cup trophy coming to Portrush next month

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke holds the Ryder Cup trophy.
European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke holds the Ryder Cup trophy.

One of sport’s greatest trophies, The Ryder Cup, is to visit Northern Ireland next month as part of a promotional tour to generate excitement ahead of this year’s event.

The Ryder Cup Trophy Tour will be officially launched by European captain Darren Clarke at Royal Portrush Golf Club on Tuesday, April 12, with the legendary trophy arriving by helicopter from Gleneagles – the site of Europe’s triumph in 2014.

The following day, Wednesday, April 13, Ulster golf fans will have the opportunity to get up close and personal to the famous trophy, when it is put on public display at City Hall in Belfast, from 9am-10.30am and The Dome at Victoria Square from 11am-9pm.

Fans will also have the chance to be photographed alongside the Ryder Cup free of charge – and pledge their support to the European Team through social media.

Clarke said: “As captain of the European team, I’m delighted that so many people across the continent will get the opportunity to share their excitement and take part in The Ryder Cup Trophy Tour.

“I hope that European golf fans will take the opportunity to come and see the Trophy when it’s on display and get behind Team Europe, ahead of the match at Hazeltine in September.”

Northern Ireland is one of a select group of European countries to stage the Ryder Cup Trophy Tour over the coming months, with the roadshow also visiting France and Italy, the next two European countries to host the contest in 2018 and 2022 respectively.

The Tour will be in Paris from June 28–30 and in Milan from September 13-15.

In addition, there will a social media campaign launched later in the year – for those people following @RyderCupEurope on Twitter - with the ultimate prize being to win the Trophy Tour at your chosen location for a day.

The 41st Ryder Cup itself takes place at Hazeltine, Minnesota from September 30 to October 2, with Europe bidding to win for a fourth successive time.

In recognition of this year’s host nation and, working in conjunction with the PGA of America, the Trophy Tour will also extend to a selection of cities across the US later in the year.

Richard Hills, European Ryder Cup Director, said: “We are delighted to be launching the Ryder Cup Trophy Tour and giving golf fans on both sides of the Atlantic the opportunity to get closer to the wonderful trophy itself.

“From a European perspective, however, it’s important to get European fans behind us and we hope the Ryder Cup Trophy Tour will generate significant fan support, both on-the-ground and via social media.”