Ireland’s four amateur 'majors' cancelled

The South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at Lahinch is among the cancelled events. Pic: Brian Arthur
The South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship at Lahinch is among the cancelled events. Pic: Brian Arthur

Hopes for a fully rescheduled elite amateur men’s competitive golfing calendar this summer have been dashed after the Golfing Union of Ireland announced its revised championship season on Tuesday.

Chief among the events that have been cancelled for 2020 are the Flogas Irish Amateur Open and Ireland’s four amateur “majors”, the West, East, North and South of Ireland Championships.

With travel beyond one’s home area prohibited until Phase 4 of the Irish Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, there will be no national competition possible in the Republic before June 20.

The GUI has rescheduled a limited Bridgestone Order of Merit series including new dates for the Munster Stroke Play, Mullingar Scratch Trophy and Connacht Stroke Play in August and September, while the AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship will now serve as a season-ending event at Rosapenna on October 9-11.

The governing body stressed, however, that all its events on the revised 2020 calendar “will only proceed following rigorous risk management and consultation with the latest public health advice”.

Explaining the loss of the Irish Amateur Open and big four provincial championships, the GUI said: “After careful consideration, the Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship has been cancelled due to the uncertainty prevailing around international travel and related disease control challenges.

“The ‘big-four’ provincial championships have also been cancelled after detailed consideration of any and all options for rescheduling. The Union wishes to place on record its thanks to the four host clubs for their support and helpfulness in trying to accommodate alternative plans. The Interprovincial Championship and the Underage Interprovincials have also been cancelled.

“The GUI and Provincial Branches have sought to provide as much of a balance of age categories as possible in scheduling and rescheduling other championships throughout August, September and October.

“Caddies will be prohibited in all events, and the format and terms of competition may be altered.”

The GUI added that entrants who do not wish to participate may withdraw up to the closing date for entries and receive a full refund.

“The priority at all times – in all of these cases - will be the safety and wellbeing of all involved – participants, volunteers, spectators and staff. Events will only proceed following rigorous risk management and consultation with the latest public health advice from the relevant state authorities and the World Health Organisation.”

The Union said it was working on plans to reschedule the Irish Seniors Close Championship, the Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship and the Irish Under-14 Boys Amateur Open Championship, but as Close Championships with Irish entrants only in 2020.

There remains uncertainty about the status of the provincial and national inter-club championships, known collectively as the AIG All Ireland Cups and Shields but the GUI said it was currently finalising a paper on those competitions, ready for circulation to clubs for “consideration and feedback” early next week.

REVISED SCHEDULE OF GUI NATIONAL AND PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS FOR 2020

List of Cancellations (as of Monday, May 11)

March 22 Ulster Regional Series 2 of 3 (Ballyliffin); Apr 7 Connacht Boys Alliance No 3 (Ballyhaunis); Apr 8-14 West of Ireland Amateur Open Qualifier & Championship (Co Sligo); Apr 10 Ulster Winter Series 2 of 3 (Edenmore); Apr 19 Ulster Regional Series 3 of 3 (Slieve Russell); Apr 26 Ulster Winter Series 3 of 3 (Galgorm Castle); Apr 30 Connacht U15 Schools Development (Castlebar); May 20-22 Irish Seniors Amateur Open Championship (Castlewarden); May 23 Leinster Mid–Amateur Open Championship (Balbriggan); May 25-26 Ulster Stroke Play Open Championship (Galgorm Castle); May 30–Jun 1 East of Ireland Amateur Open Championship (Co Louth); June 11 Ulster Schools Junior Championship (Tandragee); June 20 Munster Mid–Amateur Open Championship (Nenagh); June 26 Munster U14 Boys Championship (Cahir Park); July 1 Munster U13 Close Qualifier (Adare Manor); July 4 Ulster Mid–Amateur Open Championship (Rosapenna); July 6 Leinster U16 Close Championship (Ashbourne); July 13 Munster U13 Close Qualifier (Macroom); Jul 13-17 North of Ireland Amateur Open Championship (Royal Portrush); July 19 Ulster Scratch Foursomes Championship (Malone); July 21-23 Underage Interprovincial Championships (Mullingar); July 22-26 South of Ireland Amateur Open Championship (Lahinch Old Course); Aug 13-16 Flogas Irish Amateur Open Championship (Galway); Aug 28-30 Men’s Interprovincial Championship (Ballykisteen); Sept 12 Connacht Mid-Amateur Championship (Roscommon).

List of revised fixtures (as of Monday, May 11)

This list is subject to continual review and any changes will be advised as soon as possible.

July 14 Ulster Under-18 Close Championship (Royal Portrush Valley Links); July 20 Ulster Under-16/Under-14 Close Championship (Knock); July 27 Irish Boys Inter-Club Leinster Qualifiers (Kilkenny & Millicent); July 30 Irish Boys Inter-Club Leinster Qualifiers (Malahide & Woodbrook); July 30 Connacht Junior Close Championship Qualifiers (Ballinasloe & Ballina); Aug 4 Connacht Under-16 Inter-Club Championship (Ballinrobe); Aug 5 Munster Under-15 & Under-17 Close Championship (TBC); Aug 10 Ulster Under-14 Boys Championship (Donaghadea); Aug 12 Munster Under-16 Boys Championship (Roscrea); Aug 12-13 Ulster Seniors Championship (Slieve Russell); Aug 13 Connacht Junior Close Championships Finals (Tuam); Aug 14 Ulster Under-16 Boys Championship (Carnalea); Aug 15-16 Mullingar Scratch Trophy (Mullingar); Aug 17 Irish Boys Inter-Club Ulster Section (Ballycastle & Dungannon); Aug 19-21 Irish Under-16 Boys Championship (Lurgan); Aug 24-25 Ulster Under-18 Boys Championship (Warrenpoint); Aug 26 Irish Boys Inter-Club Munster Qualifiers (Cobh); Aug 27 Leinster Under-16 Boys Championship (Beaverstown); Aug 28 Irish Boys Inter-Club Munster Qualifiers (Newcastle West); Aug 28 Irish Boys Inter-Club Connacht Qualifiers (Boyle & Gort); Aug 29 Irish Boys Inter-Club Munster Qualifiers (Ennis & Carrick-on-Suir); Aug TBC Leinster Under-14 Boys Championship (TBC); Sept 2-3 Connacht Under-18 Boys Championship (Loughrea); Sept 5-6 Munster Stroke Play Championship (Cork); Sept 12 Connacht Under-16 Boys Championship (Roscommon); Sept 14-15 Munster Under-18 Boys Championship (TBC); Sept 19-20 Connacht Stroke Play Championship (Portumna); Sept TBC Munster Seniors Championship (TBC); Oct 3-4 Irish Mid-Amateur Championship (Nenagh); Oct 6 GUI All-Ireland Gold Medals Grand Final (The K Club); Oct 6-7 Leinster Seniors Championship (New Forest); Oct 9-11 AIG Irish Amateur Close Championship (Rosapenna – Sandy Hills); Oct 20-21 Connacht Seniors Championship (TBC); Oct 20-22 Irish Intervarsity Championship (Portsalon); Oct 27 Connacht Under-14 Boys Championship (Strandhill); Oct 28-30 Leinster Under-18 Boys Championship (Glasson).

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