Shane Lowry gave the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open a massive boost when he confirmed he will delay being reunited with his family to play in it later this month.
The Offaly man (33) agonised about what to do given the Covid-19 regulations before yesterday confirming he will make his first appearance on home soil since his Open Championship triumph and tee it up behind closed doors at Galgorm Castle from September 24-27.
"I'm really looking forward to getting back home to play the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open," said Lowry, who won't have seen his wife or daughter for 10 weeks or his extended family since February. "As a proud Irishman, this event means a lot to me and is always one of the most important tournaments on my schedule each year.
"While it's been extremely challenging for all players to plan their global tournament schedules this season, I wanted to do everything possible to get home to play the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and I'm delighted that I've been able to commit to this year's tournament given the circumstances."
The Irish Open was scheduled for Mount Juliet Estate at the end of May but it was postponed in March due to Covid-19.
With quarantine restrictions for travellers into the Republic of Ireland ongoing and the ban on mass gatherings still in place, the European Tour switched the venue to Galgorm Castle in Northern Ireland where it will be played behind closed doors.
"Obviously I was really looking forward to playing in front of our home fans as the Open champion this year, which would have been really special, but sadly it's not to be," Lowry added.
"I'm sure everyone will be supporting from home and watching the event on TV, so hopefully I can put in a good performance at Galgorm Castle and give the Irish fans something to shout about. I've been fortunate enough to win the Irish Open already and I would dearly love to win it again."
Many big stars, such as new dad Rory McIlroy and defending champion Jon Rahm, have opted to remain in the US due to Covid-19, while Padraig Harrington and Graeme McDowell have yet to confirm their plans.