THE Irish Open is the latest major sporting event to suffer a postponement after the European Tour confirmed the May date in Mount Juliet would not take place.
After postponing several events in April and May, most golf fans would have expected this news. The tournament was scheduled to be the second Rolex Series event of 2020, taking place at Mount Juliet Estate from May 28-31, with Major champion Graeme McDowell as host.
The qualifier, which was scheduled to take place a week earlier at Portmarnock Links is also postponed.
Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said: “The decision to postpone the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open follows consultation with all stakeholders and was made with public health and well-being as our absolute priority.
"Our thoughts are with everyone right now and we are all united in trying to fight the spread of the pandemic. With this in mind, we will continue to evaluate all aspects of our 2020 European Tour schedule, and discussions on the rescheduling of postponed events will remain ongoing until we have clarity on the global situation.”
Many eyes will also be on the Ryder Cup which is due to take place in Wisconsin in late September. Given the cancellation of events in Europe and the US, the qualification period for players will be very limited.
Mount Juliet was set to host it’s fourth Irish Open, and it’s first since 1995 which was won by Sam Torrence.
Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman and CEO of main sponsor Dubai Duty Free, said: “We fully support the European Tour in their decision to postpone the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
"The most important thing right now is the health and safety of all the players, the spectators, the sponsors and organisers, so it’s the right decision.”
Graeme McDowell was set to host the tournament for the first time.
“As important as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is to all of us, everyone’s health is our only concern. My thoughts are with everyone affected by the crisis and I hope everyone keeps safe and well during these difficult times.”