August 15, 2020
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Swings and roundabouts: Irish Open in Kilkenny could replace Ryder Cup on golfing calendar this September

What has turned out to be a bogey for the Ryder Cup could turn out to be an eagle for a county Kilkenny golf course and a massive boost to the local economy.

The word in golfing circles is the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, which is still hoped to be played in Mount Juliet Estate and Golf Resort this year, could now be slotted in the weekend the Ryder Cup was due to be played in Whistling Straights Country Club in Wisconsin in the USA.

The announcement was made this week that the bi-annual tournament played between the USA and Europe, one of the world’s most popular sporting events, due to take place the weekend of September 21, has been put back a year, opening a weekend slot in the global golf calendar.

The Irish Times is today reporting the that gap could be filled by the Irish Open in Mount Juilet. The tournament was due to be held over the June Bank Holiday weekend, but was one of the first major sporting events in Ireland to fall foul of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is understood the Mount Juliet event has been provisionally penciled in for the first weekend of October, however the European Tour last month said a number of dates are being considered, and now the Ryder Cup weekend has come into focus

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open is one of the jewels in the European Tour being a part of the Rolex Series which the tour is looking to prioritise. This year’s Irish Open comes with a prize fund of €7 million.

One stumbling block the organisers may encounter could be the current quarantine restrictions. With the US Open being held in New York the weekend prior, September 14, the current 14-day quarantine period for incoming travellers would prevent anyone who plays the US Open from taking part in the Irish Open.

That period is one of the aspects of the lockdown restrictions the government is said to be looking at and may make an announcement concerning this issue on July 20.

KilkennyNow.ie contacted Mount Juliet for comment.

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