Tuesday qualifier for 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open — Irish PGA pros must play for just one place


Details have yet to be confirmed but we understand that they days when the PGA professionals from the Irish Region got a set number of spots in the Irish Open may be at an end.

According to our sources, next year's Dubai Duty Free irish Open at The K Club will instead feature a Tuesday qualifier on the Smurfit Course for just one place in the 2016 field at the Palmer Ryder Cup Course from May 19-22.

The move is a major shift from tradition but in keeping with the increasingly competitive nature of the European Tour and the demand for places in what will be a €4 million event.

PGA Tour events traditionally host a Monday qualifier for one or two places in that week's tour event.

This year's Championship at Royal County Down awarded starts to the top six PGA professionals from the 2014 PGA Irish Region Order of Merit — Michael McDermott, Brendan McGovern, Damian Mooney, Neil O'Briain, John Kelly and Cian McNamara — none of whom made the cut.

That six-man entry signified a 25 percent reduction in the eight-strong contingent from the Irish Region that that teed it up at Fota Island in 2014, where Kelly was the only Irish club professional to make the cut, finishing tied 58th.

If confirmed, the extra five places could be used to provide more invitations for up and coming Irish players from the Irish Region, the Challenge Tour, the Asian Tour, the Web.com Tour or the satellite tours.