Scotland has lost one of the biggest purse events on the European Tour with the continuing Coronavirus pandemic fears forcing officials to reschedule October’s hosting of the pro-amateur event to 2021.
Double Major winning Sandy Lyle was first to hint last month the event may not go ahead given many of the amateurs teeing-up over the three host courses travel from the U.S.
The European Tour has removed the event from its 2020 Race to Dubai schedule and now Johann Rupert, Chairman of Swiss luxury goods firm Compagnie Financiere Richemont that runs the $US 5m event, has confirmed the news via his Twitter account.
“The Scottish Government is doing an exemplary job at combating the spread of the virus – I feel safe playing golf in Scotland,” he said.
“We therefore do not want to take the risk of one of our 300+ participants inadvertently bringing the Covid-19 virus back to St Andrews.”
Alfred Dunhill first got involved in Scottish golf with the hosting of the 1995 Alfred Dunhill Cup and then in 2001, Scotland’s Paul Lawrie captured the inaugural Alfred Dunhill Links by one shot over Ernie Els in a Monday finish to that year’s weather-interrupted first event.
Irish winners of the event include Padraig Harrington (2002 & 2006) and Michael Hoey (2011)
European Tour CEO Keith Pelley is expected to also announce an event will be played in Scotland to replace the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, in the week prior the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.
And while the Tour has removed the Dunhill Links event from the schedule, there is still no word on the hosting of the 2020 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Mt. Juliet.
One can sadly only expect that given the enormous job losses at Dubai Duty Free that the company really cannot be seen going ahead with a 2020 sponsorship of Ireland’s premier event.