Shane Lowry commits to playing Irish Open
Former champion will be the headline act at Galgorm Castle
Shane Lowry: “I wanted to do everything possible to get home to play and I’m delighted I’ve been able to commit given the circumstances.” Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Shane Lowry will fly directly from the US Open in New York to ensure he will be the headline act at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, which takes place at Galgorm Castle in Co Antrim from September 24th-27th.
Lowry is playing this week’s Safeway Open in Napa County in California, the first event of the PGA Tour’s 2020/2021 season, and then will then play next week’s rescheduled US Open at Winged Foot before returning to Europe for what could be his only tournament this side of the Atlantic before returning to the US ahead of the Masters tournament, which has been moved back to November.
In fact, Lowry’s last sporting outing in Ireland came as a spectator at the Ireland-Wales rugby match at the Aviva back in February. He flew out to the US the following day, hardly envisaging that his time there would be so long as the coronavirus pandemic impacted further international travel.
Lowry’s late commitment was due to figuring out the different quarantine restrictions in place but the tournament’s switch up North (the event was originally scheduled for Mount Juliet in May) means that he can travel and play, and will then spend whatever time is required self-isolating thereafter and getting to see his family again.
It remains uncertain whether Lowry will play the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, given the possible complications of a further spell of self-isolation were to go play there.
The priority for Lowry was to play in the Irish Open and the 33-year-old Offalyman explained: “The Irish Open means a lot to me and is always one of the most important tournaments on my schedule each year. While it has been extremely challenging for all players to play their global tournament schedules this season, I wanted to do everything possible to get home to play and I’m delighted I’ve been able to commit given the circumstances.”
The DDF Irish Open at Galgorm Castle will, like all tournaments on the European Tour since its resumption, be played behind closed doors with no spectators.