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Shane Lowry: Irish Open could be played after Ryder Cup postponement but only with government green light


Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry


Shane Lowry

Shane Lowry has urged the Irish government to consider giving the green light for the Irish Open to staged in the slot that had been allocated for this year's Ryder Cup.

The Open champion has confirmed that he would jump at the chance to play in the tournament on home soil, as he suggested the date in late September that should have seen Padraig Harrington captain the European Ryder Cup could be perfect for a rescheduled Irish Open.

The European Tour confirmed back in March that this year's Irish Open at Mount Juliet, scheduled for 28-31 May, had been postponed, but Lowry now believes there is a chance to get the event played.

"I would 100 per cent play a rescheduled Irish Open in the now vacant September Ryder Cup slot – if the government restrictions allow for it," Lowry wrote in his Paddy Power column. "If there is an Irish Open and I am allowed play, I will definitely play.

"The Irish government will have to judge whether public opinion will allow for International golfers arriving, playing and departing given how well the Irish public has done to contain the spread of the pandemic over the last few months.

"The US Open is due to end on the 20th September, the week before a rescheduled Irish Open could be slotted in and I was planning to come home for a couple of weeks after that Major anyway, if the quarantine restrictions allow for it.

"Obviously if players have to quarantine in the US first and then Ireland when they arrive, it’s not going to be very practical for many. But if everything gets the green light, I’d love to be teeing off as the reigning Open Champion on home soil.

"I was so looking forward to going to the Irish Open at Mount Juliet as the reigning ‘Open Champion’, teeing off in front of a home crowd, so I’d still love to experience that if possible."

European Tour chiefs have confirmed that they are looking at options to play the Irish Open in 2020, with the Irish government needing to sanction any plans to stage the tournament amid the current Covid-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, former European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has told Independent.ie that the Irish Open can still happen this year.

With the European Tour set to swing back into action in July and it's chief executive Keith Pelly making it clear that he wants the tournament to be re-scheduled, McGinley has thrown his vocal backing to the plans.

"It would be fantastic to have an Irish Open this year and it would give us all something to look forward to after what has been a traumatic few months," said McGinley.

"The weather in Ireland was sensational on the weekend when it should have been on and that made it all the more painful to see it called off. We have played so many Irish Opens in May over the years and I can't recall any that were played in decent weather and they were horrific a lot of the time.

"Let's hope we can get it back on. Keith Pelley is very committed to getting it still on the schedule so fingers crossed. As we come out of this lockdown and things start to get eased, we have to hope this virus doesn't spike again."