Graeme McDowell has confirmed that he won't be taking part in this year's rescheduled Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Galgorm Castle.
The former US Open champion will instead defend his Corales Punta Cana Resort and Club Championship title in the Dominican Republic on the same weekend as the Irish Open.
McDowell was due to host the Irish Open at Mount Juliet in May but the tournament was postponed due to COVID-19 and has since been switched to Galgorm Castle on September 24th.
"I have never failed to attend this great event in 18 previous years and regret that due to the necessary changes made to the event, travel and scheduling issues, I am choosing to not play this year," McDowell said in a statement.
"I will be competing that some week at the Corales Punta Cana Resort and Club Championship, defending the title I won in 2019.
"Defending a title is something special and on honour I have tried to take seriously all my career. Under normal circumstances defending this event would not take priority over playing my home Open, but the unprecedented circumstances make this a better option for me at this time.
"I want to apologise to Dubai Duty Free and take an opportunity to again thank them for the wonderful commitment they have made to putting the Irish Open back on the map.
"We will hopefully be back in 2021, with the event at full strength, surrounded by the great Irish fans, assuming we can put the issues caused by COVID behind us."
It leaves reigning Open champion Shane Lowry as the main attraction for the behind closed doors event.