Lowry calls for Irish Open to move to a better date

Bernie McGuire

Shane Lowry (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Shane Lowry reckons organisers and sponsors of next week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open desperately need to seek a new date if the event is to attract the game’s best.

In the absence of Rory McIlroy, Lowry finds himself the highest world-ranked Irishman heading to Lahinch.

He’ll join the likes of 2017 Irish Open winner, Jon Rahm, former European No. 1 Tommy Fleetwood along with defending champ, Russell Knox in teeing-up on the famed Co. Clare course.

Sadly, none of the game’s leading Americans will be in Ireland as instead they’ve once again,  alongside McIlroy, chosen to contest next fortnight’s Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club to the east of Edinburgh.

Indeed, it’s the same old story with the Irish Open again missing out to the bigger bucks Aberdeen Standard Investments have handed over to secure the prime week ahead of golf’s oldest major.

McIlroy revealed earlier last year that he had spoken to Tour CEO, Keith Pelley about the chance of a one-off move of the 2019 Irish Open to the week prior to The Open, given both events were to be played on Irish soil.

It was no surprise when the Tour, along with Martin Gilbert, head of the leading Scottish finance institution and main backers of the Scottish Open, replied:  ‘No chance!’

That hasn’t stopped Lowry now throwing-in his two Euros worth.

“I personally think the Irish Open should be moved to a different date,” said Lowry.

“The best date would be around Wentworth in September and then you might get a good field because you have three big tournaments in a row with the Dunhill Links afterwards as well.”

Lowry was then quizzed if he was surprised at the lack of Stateside support for Ireland’s premier golfing event.

“Being completely honest, not really,” he said.

“It is similar for us with the US Open, we don’t go over three weeks before.

“We don’t go over to play two tournaments in the run up to the US Open. The ideal date is Scotland the week before.

“The week of the Scottish Open, that is not the best course in the world this year, but if some of the American guys want to come over and play and get used to playing links golf, that’s the tournament you would play and lead that into the Open.

“I don’t think playing the Irish Open and then taking a week off is the right way to go about it.

“I know if I was American, that’s the way I’d be doing it too.”


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