New quarantine measures put Irish Open 'in trouble', believes Shane Lowry

Open champion admits that Government's new restrictions of vistors has put him, and the Irish Open, in a spot of bother
New quarantine measures put Irish Open 'in trouble', believes Shane Lowry

COVID CONUNDRUM: Shane Lowry admits he doesn't know when he will see home again after the Government introduced new quarantine measures for visitors from countries such as the US, where he is now domiciled.

SHANE Lowry believes that July's Irish Open at Mount Juliet has been thrown into doubt by the Government's new quarantine measures for a number of countries. 

Lowry, who finished in a tie for 21st at the Augusta Masters, said afterwards that the latest Government measures here on incoming travellers and the necessity for quarantining will put the July 1st-4th Open "in trouble."

The Government last week added the United States, Canada, Belgium, France and Italy to its list of countries where arrivals will be subject to mandatory hotel quarantine.

Lowry says that has already put him in a spot with regard to his caddie Bo Martin, who returns home this week and won't be available to Lowry until the Open Championship in the middle of July at the earliest.

Lowry himself lives in Florida and plans to remain on the PGA Tour until heading to Royal St George's.

"Right now, if you look at what the Irish government are doing, I think the Irish Open is going to be in trouble because they're out there putting France, Germany, and the U.S. on a quarantine for two weeks. So I don't know what's going to happen there.

"You know, it's pretty s--- for me, - and I know things are tough for everybody at the minute - but my coach and my team are going home tomorrow, and I probably won't see them until the Open. It's not great, because I want them over here for the big tournaments, the PGA and the U.S. Open. We'll see what happens. I don't know. Maybe there will be exemptions or something. I have no idea. We're an Olympic sport now. Maybe we should get an exemption. I have no idea."

Lowry said he will play Hilton Head next week and will try to pick up a caddie over the next few days. "Ireland brought in a quarantine rule from the US for some strange reason last Thursday, and we just had to make a decision. Like (Bo's) waiting on his second dose of vaccine back home, and he needs to go home (Monday) night and get everything sorted. I don't expect anyone to spend two weeks in a hotel for me in quarantine. I'm not going to do it, so I don't expect anyone else to do it. There's a couple of guys who aren't playing next week and they're out there looking for a job. So I'll find a caddie out there somewhere.

"Who knows when I'll be able to go home, if I'll be able to go home to Ireland. I have no idea what my schedule is going to be leading up to the Open, but it's definitely going to be mostly over here. I don't know if I'll get back to play in Europe at all."

On his Masters performance, Lowry believes that he has the game to one day claim the coveted green jacket that Japan's Hideki Matsuyama clipped on in the Butler Cabin Sunday night.

"I bogeyed 11 on Friday. I was 3-over for the tournament, and I sort of resigned myself to the fact I was never going to win a green jacket. Then I played lovely the last few holes and then played nicely Saturday, and you you start to build your hopes up again. So who knows?

"Look, I hope I get the chance someday. I just hope I get the chance. I just really want the chance to do it around Amen Corner someday. Like I'd love to be in those last few groups out there. It's not great when you're out there playing for 10th or 15th or whatever. It's much nicer when you're in contention."

More in this section

Ireland's Top 10 Hidden Gems

Ten of the best golf courses in Ireland that too few people know about.

Read Here

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox