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G-Mac could play host at 2020 Irish Open

 

In line: Graeme McDowell could step up and host
In line: Graeme McDowell could step up and host

By Brian Keogh

Graeme McDowell could be the most logical host for the 2020 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open after Paul McGinley definitively ruled himself out for next May's Rolex Series event at Mount Juliet.

The Dubliner (52) brilliantly hosted the event at Lahinch in July and donated €75,000 of the funds raised by the McGinley Foundation to the local National School, Scoil Mhuire, and the North West Clare Family Resource Centre (NWCFRC).

The former Ryder Cup captain insisted in July that he would not host the event again next year despite his links with Mount Juliet and he reiterated that intention on his return to Lahinch.

"I won't be (hosting) in the immediate future anyway," McGinley said. "In four or five years' time, I would consider it. We are on a roll at the moment in terms of hosts with Rory (McIlroy), Darren Clarke, myself, Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell.

"They haven't announced one for 2020 yet, but it won't be me. It won't happen until the end of that rota of five players."

Padraig Harrington has also ruled himself out as he captains the European Ryder Cup team, while Clarke is also out as he has the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship the week before the May 28-31 event.

World No.114 McDowell (40) is keen to make a fifth Ryder Cup appearance having missed out in 2016 and again last year.

A spokesman for the Portrush man confirmed that the possibility of him stepping up as host in 2020 had been broached.

The 2010 US Open champion raises funds for children's charities through the G-Mac Foundation, and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open has proved to be an excellent fundraising tool.

McGinley sold several Pro-Am teams at Lahinch, where he also set up a 'Shebeen' offering corporate hospitality overlooking the 18th green, with a €75,000 profit.

"It's the cherry on top of what was a great year - investing money into the local community that will create a lot of good services," McGinley said of the €60,000 raised to build an Astroturf sports facility at Scoil Mhuire and the €15,000 that went to the NWCFRC.

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