Graeme McDowell is the new host of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, agreeing to take over the role for the next two years, including the event's reported return to Portstewart in 2021.
McDowell takes over from Paul McGinley, who took over from Rory McIlroy, as host of one of the longest-running European Tour events. In 2020, the event will be played in County Kilkenny at Mount Juliet Estate. It's the first time Mount Juliet will host in 2025 years.
McGinley hosted last year at Lahinch, following on from McIlroy hosting the event for the prior four years with the tournament benefiting his charitable foundation.
“It’s a huge privilege to have the opportunity to host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in both 2020 and 2021,” said McDowell. “The event has gone from strength to strength over the last few years with the support of Dubai Duty Free and the efforts of Rory and Paul as hosts, alongside everybody at the European Tour.
“I’m really looking forward to taking on that responsibility over the next two years and adding to the history of this great tournament, which has become a global spectacle that Irish golf fans can be proud of.
“Our island is famous for its incredible golf courses and passionate golf fans, both north and south of the border, and obviously I would love to bring the event to Northern Ireland in 2021. But my focus now is on next year at Mount Juliet Estate and making sure that is another world-class sporting occasion.”
The Ulsterman McDowell is a 10-time European Tour winner and the 2010 US Open champion. Outside of the US Open at Pebble Beach, McDowell has three other PGA Tour wins, including the 2019 Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship in the Dominican Republic.
In 2019, McDowell's best major finish was T-16 at the US Open. In his European Tour career, he has won five national opens, but he's yet to win the Irish Open.