Shane Lowry won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009
Tournament Director Simon Alliss of the Irish Open says the event & # 39; a of the major events of the European Tour – one of our jewels in the crown ".
This year's postponed tournament kicks off Thursday at the Galgorm Castle Golf Club in Ballymena, County Antrim, without spectators present.
"It was crucial to us that the Irish Open took place," he said.
"We have a vault created environment with a bubble and a robust set of guidelines, protocols and tests.
The tournament was originally scheduled to take place at the Mount Juliet Estate in County Kilkenny from May 28-31, but was postponed on March 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Inst ead, Galgorm Castle will make its European Tour debut this week as it has been a fixture on The Challenge Tour since 2013.
on the golf course hosted the Northern Ireland Open Challenge Tour event in early September, the sixth time it has been played at the venue since 2013.
The ISPS Handa Invitational for men and women was staged on the park runway in 2019.
The Irish Open will be held in Northern Ireland for the fourth time in nine years with Royal Portrush (2012 ), Royal County Down (2015) and Portstewart (2017) the other host clubs.
& # 39; In constant dialogue & # 39;
"We will not be doing anything very different from what we have been doing since the Tour restart in July," explains Alliss.
“We are in consultation with the Public Health Agency and all government agencies to ensure all appropriate processes are in place.
"We are in constant dialogue and have adopted their guidance and advice and are guided by science and data."
Lowry headlines field
Jon Rahm, winner in two of the past three years, is not part of the field this week, with Northern Ireland's great champions Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke also absent. However,
Shane Lowry, 2019 Open Champion at Royal Portrush, is in on the competition, along with Europe Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington and shapeshift South African George Coetzee.
Coetzee followed consecutive victories at the Titleist Championship of the Sunshine Tour and the Portugal Masters of the European Tour with finally a tie for third place week Open de Portugal – his ninth worldwide top 10 of 2020
Lowry won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009 and is coming to Galgorm with 43rd place at the US Open at Winged Foot. ]