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Irish Open set to move to Nort...
Golf

Irish Open set to move to Northern Ireland to draw US golfers

Conor Breslin
Conor Breslin

14:21 11 Aug 2020

The 2020 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is set be moved from Mount Juliet to the Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort in Northern Ireland as an alternative host, according to a report.

The Irish Independent claims that it "now appears likely" that the showpiece event will take place in Galgorm over the weekend of September 24th-27th, in order to allow competitors to travel from the US Open without the need to quarantine.

Current Irish government restrictions mean that anyone arriving in the country from the US would be required to self-isolate for 14 days. However, no such restrictions currently apply in Northern Ireland.

The PGA European Tour did not include the tournament in its rescheduled calendar for 2020.

The tournament was originally scheduled to take place at Mount Juliet from May 28th-31st, until the COVID-19 pandemic forced its postponement and cancellation of all Golf and sporting events.

The Galgorm Castle resort would enable players competing in the US Open at Winged Foot in New York on September 17th-20th to travel into the North without encountering the same quarantine restrictions as exist in the Republic.

A move to Northern Ireland would also allow the likes of Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell who is the host to compete in their home tournament, although world number three Rory McIlroy is not expected to make the journey not wanting to take unnecessary risks during COVID-19.

"I don't know. I don't know if I want to travel, I don't know if I want to be exposed to more things and more people," he said.

The Irish Open was last played in Northern Ireland when the 2017 tournament, won by Spain’s Jon Rahm, was played at Portstewart.

While a move has yet to be confirmed, Galgorm is already scheduled to host the Challenge Tour's NI Open at the start of September.

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Covid-19 Golf Graeme McDowell Irish Golf Irish Open PGA European Tour Rory McIlroy Shane Lowry

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