The venue, Fota Island / Getty Images Fota Island is a 7,043-yard par 71. It unusually has back-to-back par fives on the front nine at holes 4 and 5 and then two more par fives on the back, at holes 10 and 18. The eighteenth hole is just a 532 yards par five, which sets up the possibility of an Eagle finish to the competition on Sunday. Defending Champion Paul Casey; Paul Casey / Getty Images “I always defend a title, I won in Korea and I went back to Korea. If I won in Timbuktu, I'd go back to Timbuktu. I never get tired of defending. It’s exciting to me and this is an important championship. The Irish Open is one of the biggest titles I've won. It meant a lot winning it last year. “ “Casey is a Cork name, one of my cousins who lives in the States has done a whole bunch of research on all our ancestors so I will try this week to find out more. It was my great-grandfather who was over here, and I think my grandfather on my dad's side moved to South Africa. So it's pretty close, I'll try and find out more.” Paul's heroics last year at Carton House Golf Club endeared him to many Irish fans. If he triumphed again this week it would reinforce that bond and put Paul well and truly back in the spotlight. Rory McIlroy, has not played here before, but is looking forward to challenge after the horrors of Pinehurst #2; Rory McIlroy / Getty Images “I need to play some stellar stuff, I need to win at least one big one or a couple of others by the cut-off. I think it's plain and simple. And even that doesn't guarantee anything, but at least that might get me into consideration.” “I’ve heard great things about the course, so I’m really looking forward to getting down there and seeing it for myself. I vaguely remember watching the Irish Open on TV when it was there in 2002. It’s a parkland golf course, which will be nice after last week at Pinehurst, where I made only nine birdies in four rounds." "Absolutely buzzing for The Irish Open at Fota Island Resort this week. Forecast is great so should be a great week." Graeme McDowell knows this course well; "Fota Island was my Irish Open debut and it’s got good memories, good thoughts, a great venue. The Irish Open is always special to us as Irish players."