Ryder Cup player Rafa Cabrera Bello joins field for Irish Open at Portstewart

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Rafa Cabrera Bello was joint second behind Jamie Donaldson at the 2012 Irish Open at Royal Portrush

Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello has become the latest player to confirm his participation in next month’s Irish Open at Portstewart.

The world number 28, who was part of the European 2016 Ryder Cup team, has finished in the top 10 in four of his past five appearances at the event.

The 33-year-old was joint runner-up in 2012 at Royal Portrush.

Two years ago at Royal County Down, he missed out on a place in a three-way play-off, won by Dane Soren Kjeldsen.

This year’s tournament, hosted by The Rory Foundation, boasts a record prize fund of nearly £5.5m and is being staged at Portstewart for the first time.

The field includes defending champion Rory McIlroy, world number four Hideki Matsuyama, former US Open champion Justin Rose, ex-Masters champion Danny Willett and world number 10 Jon Rahm.

“I always love playing in the Irish Open,” said Cabrera Bello, who has claimed two top fives in his past three appearances on the US PGA Tour.

“It’s always one of my favourite events and you can see that in my recent record at this event.

“The atmosphere is always incredible and I love playing in front of such knowledgeable golf fans. I really enjoy playing on classic links courses too and I think they really suit my game.”

The Irish Open forms part of the new Rolex Series, a premium category of events on the European Tour calendar.



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