September 24, 2020, 7:01

Irish Open is moved to Northern Ireland due to travel restrictions

Irish Open is moved to Northern Ireland due to travel restrictions

Jon Rahm is reigning champion at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is back on the European Tour schedule and has been moved from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

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The event was originally planned for Mount Juliet in Kilkenny in May 28-31, only to be postponed during golf’s coronavirus-enforced shutdown.

Tournament organisers remained confident of rearranging the tournament for later in the year, with the event now taking place at Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort near Ballymena from 24-27 September.

The Irish Open fills the week vacated by the Ryder Cup’s postponement

Travel restrictions in Ireland require all visitors from the United States to quarantine for 14 days on arrival, meaning any player involved at the US Open the previous week wouldn’t be able to compete.

No limitations are currently in place in Northern Ireland, with the venue switch meaning golfers can feature at Winged Foot in the second major of the year and then travel back to the UK without quarantining.

Keith Pelley, European Tour Chief Executive, said: “The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is an integral part of the European Tour’s schedule and despite the obvious challenges of staging any event in the current circumstances, we felt it was important to continue with the tournament providing we could do so safely

Following the changes to the date and the venue, as well as the overall disruption to the schedule, the event will have a prize fund of €1.25 million and no longer be part of the Rolex Series.

The European Tour are set to announce a revised Rolex Series schedule in the coming weeks

Galgorm hosted the inaugural ISPS Handa World Invitational last August – a mixed tournament offering equal prize money – and had been due hold the event again in 2020, only for it to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The venue change means that Galgorm will host two high-profile golf events in a four-week period, having already been announced as the venue for the Challenge Tour’s Northern Ireland Open supported by the R&A from September 3-6.

Watch the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open live from September 24-27 on Sky Sports Golf!


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