The key numbers behind the Irish Open

The tournament begins on Thursday morning in Kildare

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Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

The Irish Open begins on Thursday morning at The K-Club as 156 players tee off in Kildare.

Rory McIlroy is hosting the tournament for the second year in a row at the world number-three looks to win the Irish Open for the first time.

Here are some of the key numbers ahead of this weeks event. Will an Irish player win the title for the first time since 2009?

416,600: The amount in Euros, that the winner will receive on Sunday evening at the K-Club. Soren Kjeldsen won the same amount last year when he won at Royal County Down.

7,350: The amount of yards on the Palmer Course that the golfers will have to traverse each day this weekend. The Par-5 10th hole is the longest at a whopping 584-yards.

22: There will be a healthy contingent of Irish golfers in action this week. From World number three Rory McIlroy to amateurs Jack Hume and John Ross Galbraith, there will be plenty of Irish players to support in Kildare.

19: Sergio Garcia remain the youngest player to win the Irish Open. The Spanish star won the tournament when he was 19 years and 176 days in 1999 at Druids Glen.

12: The Irish Open has had more play-offs on the European Tour to crown their winner compared to any other tournament. The last winner to come from a play-off happened only last year when Soren Kjeldsen was victorious.

Shane Lowry (2009) was the last homegrown player to win the Irish Open. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

11: There will be 11 players playing this week who have already won the Irish Open. Among the former champions in action include Ryder Cup hero Jamie Donaldson, Thomas Bjorn and last year's winner Soren Kjeldsen.

10: Bernhard Langer's victory at Portmarnock in 1987 remains the most comfortable in the history of the tournament. Langer was ten shots clear of Sandy Lyle who finished in second place.

8: There are eight major winners competing this weekend at the Irish Open. Ireland's four major champions are joined by the Masters champion Danny Willett, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie and YE Yang.

4: Since the tournament became a regular event on the European Tour in 1975, only four Irish players have won the event. Christy O'Connor Junior and John O'Leary won the event in its early days before Padraig Harrington and the then-amateur Shane Lowry won the title in 2007 and 2009 respectively.

3: Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie have all won the event three times. Of the four, Faldo is the only player to have won the title three times in a row