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Published: 11:22 | 11/4/16

Irish Open moved from Lough Erne

European Tour wants to host event on links course

The European Tour has confirmed that the 2017 Irish Open will not take place at the Lough Erne Resort.

European Tour chief executive Keith Pelly and event patron Rory McIlroy want the Irish Open to be played on a links course, and Tour officials have reportedly visited Portstewart to assess its suitability.

Pelly, who was appointed chief executive in August 2015 following George O'Grady's retirement, says the "outstanding" Sir Nick Faldo-designed course may host a European Tour event in future.

The resort was sold to Illinois-headquartered Vine Avenue Advisors for a reported €10.5m in 2014, after owner Jim Treacy suffered financial difficulties following the global financial collapse of 2008.

"During a recent visit to the Lough Erne Resort, I was delighted to meet with the owners and to learn more about their significant investment plans for the golf course and hotel," Pelly said on Monday.

"It is a beautiful facility with an outstanding championship golf course designed by Sir Nick Faldo.

"While the 2017 Irish Open will not be staged at Lough Erne, the European Tour looks forward to working with the new ownership consortium, and I am confident that the Lough Erne Resort will host an event with the European Tour in the future.

"Details of the 2017 venue will be announced in due course, but in the meantime we are solely focused on ensuring that the 2016 tournament, which will be staged at The K Club in County Kildare in six weeks’ time, is a great success."

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