PORTRUSH golfer Graeme McDowell’s stint as host of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open has been put on hold as organisers confirmed this afternoon that this year’s event has been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
European Tour officials today confirmed that the event, which was due to take place at Mount Juliet Estate in County Kilkenny at the end of May, will not get underway in two months' time.
At this stage, it is believed that the tournament organisers will look to reschedule the Irish Open later in the year depending on how the COVID-19 situation pans out.
In a statement this afternoon, 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,” added Keith Pelley.
However, the 2010 US Open winner will get another bite at the cherry a little closer to home if this year’s event does not tee off as he is also scheduled to host the tournament at Portstewart Golf Club next year.
Commenting on recent developments, Graeme McDowell, tournament host, said: “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.”