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New quarantine rules put Irish Open 'in trouble', says Shane Lowry

And the reigning British Open champion is forced to look for a new caddie to help his title defence preparations.

Shane Lowry with caddie Brian 'Bo' Martin on the first fairway during the second round of The Masters.
Shane Lowry with caddie Brian 'Bo' Martin on the first fairway during the second round of The Masters.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

SHANE LOWRY THINKS that July’s Irish Open at Mount Juliet ‘is going to be in trouble’ because of the government’s latest quarantine rules. 

And Lowry — who finished his Masters week in a tie for 21st — explained that preparations for his British Open title defense were up in the air after countries like the US, Canada and France were added to the mandatory quarantine list here. 

The Offaly native will have to compete without caddie Bo Martin, who returns to Ireland,  while Lowry remains in the States.

“I think right now, if you look at what the Irish government are out there doing, I think the Irish Open is going to be in trouble because they’re out there putting France, Germany, and the US on a quarantine for two weeks. So I don’t know what’s going to happen there,” Lowry said after his final round at Augusta.

“You know, it’s pretty shit for me, to be honest, because 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, you know, because I want them over here for the big tournaments, the PGA and the US 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 heads for Hilton Head in South Carolina this week but is unsure who’ll be on his bag. 

“I have no idea,” he says, “Ireland brought in a quarantine rule from the US for some strange reason on Thursday, and we just had to make a decision. Like he’s waiting on his second dose of vaccine back home, I think, and he needs to go home 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.

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“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.”

 

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