Irish Open set for Mount Juliet in 2021 with increased prize money
Tournament remains off the Rolex Series rota which will be made up of four events
John Catlin won the Irish Open in 2020 at Galgorm Castle. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open will be held from July 1st to 4th in 2021 at Mount Juliet after the European Tour announced its schedule for next season with a return to a full international programme.
There will be a minimum of 42 tournaments in 24 countries between January and November, including 18 events that were either postponed or cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year the Irish Open was moved from Mount Juliet to Galgorm Castle due to Covid-19 disruption but next year the Co Kilkenny venue will get its chance to host the event which will also have an increased prize fund of €3 million but, like the 2020 tournament, will not be included in the Rolex Series.
Along with the Italian Open, the Turkish Airlines Open and the Nedbank Golf Challenge, the Irish Open was one of four events to lose Rolex Series status this year and that same reduced format will continue next season.
The Abu Dhabi Championship in January, the Scottish Open in July and the PGA Championship in September will each have an increased prize fund of $8m (€6.5m) and 8,000 Race to Dubai points.
The prize fund for the fourth and final Rolex Series event, the World Tour Championship in Dubai, will be $9m (€7.5m), with 12,000 Race to Dubai points on offer.
There will be four events in the UK in July and August, the second of which will be co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA.
Danny Willett will host the British Masters, which will also have an increased prize fund, while there will be new tournaments in Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
The schedule has been designed to reduce travel where possible, and Keith Pelley, chief executive of the European Tour, said: “I am incredibly proud to announce our 2021 global schedule today, one that once again sees us journey through continents and across the world.
“There is no question that the challenge of reshaping our 2020 season in many ways informed our approach to 2021.
“One of the key learnings was to group events together in terms of their geographical location to create a more travel-friendly season for our members. That is reflected in numerous concentrations of event locations.
“Our events in the initial part of the 2021 season will continue to operate under the guidelines of our world-class health strategy, which will evolve aligned to the latest medical advice.
“However, with the incredible progress that has been made in recent months in terms of a vaccine, we look forward to hopefully welcoming the gradual return of the fans we’ve so dearly missed.”