Irish Open: Mount Juliet European Tour event postponed because of coronavirus

Jon Rahm
Jon Rahm won his second Irish Open at Lahinch in July

The European Tour has confirmed that the Irish Open has been postponed because of the continuing threat posed by the spread of the coronavirus.

The tournament was scheduled to take place at Mount Juliet Estate from 28-31 May, with former US Open champion champion Graeme McDowell as the host.

The Irish Open was set to be the Tour's second Rolex Series event of 2020.

It is understood that a possible autumn date is being considered for the potential rescheduling of the event.

'Public health and well-being absolute priority'

"The decision to postpone the Irish Open follows consultation with all stakeholders and was made with public health and well-being as our absolute priority," said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley.

"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."

The European Tour has been forced into shut-down following the outbreak of Covid-19, with tournaments in Denmark, Kenya, India, Malaysia, China and Spain also having been called off in recent weeks.

World number one Rory McIlroy, 2019 Open winner Shane Lowry and defending champion Jon Rahm are among those who have confirmed their participation at Mount Juliet.

McDowell said: "As important as the 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."

Hassan II Trophy in Morocco next scheduled event

Including majors and World Golf Championship events, a total of 12 European Tour tournaments have now been postponed or cancelled.

The Trophee Hassan II, which is scheduled to be held in Rabat, Morocco from 4-7 June, is now the next possible event on the calendar.

The US Open is due to take place at Winged Foot from 18-21 June, but the course is just five miles away from the coronavirus containment zone set up in New Rochelle, New York and non-essential businesses have been closed, putting a stop to preparations.

A decision on staging the tournament is expected soon.

The R&A is currently proceeding as planned to stage The Open at Royal St George's from July 16-19 and the AIG Women's British Open at Royal Troon from August 20-23, but is undertaking a "comprehensive evaluation" of its plans and considering contingency options.

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