Patrick Reed's decision to pull out of the BMW PGA and the Irish Open is a blow to the European Tour. But Irish golf is wondering why Jack Hume is now missing from the Irish Open entry list and whether Irish Professional champion Niall Kearney will get one of the invitations.
We're waiting for the European Tour to correct what we assume is a computer glitch that leaves Amateur champion Bradley Neil and GUI nominees Gary Hurley and Gavin Moynihan as the only amateur entries for Royal County Down.
The Irish Open field never leaves anyone indifferent and it appears that for the second year running we may be without the Irish Professional champion.
Niall Kearney, who is teeing it up in the BMW PGA at Wentworth this week with the likes of World No 1 Rory McIlroy thanks to his win in the Titleist PGA Playoffs in Turkey — an event he qualified for because he topped the Irish PGA's money list — does not count as one of the Top 6 PGA professionals from the Irish Region's money list as he is not a qualified PGA professional.
Colm Moriarty and Michael McGeady, who also played in Turkey after completing the Top 3 in the Irish Order of Merit, are also ineligible for those six Irish Open exemptions for Irish professionals for the same reason.
Rules are rules but with the Irish Open, one assumes, purporting to showcase the best in Irish golf, the absence of the Irish champion and one of our most ambitious, up and coming players, is unfortunate to say the least.
It appears that to get a start, Kearney will have to win favour from the sponsors Dubai Duty Free, the hosting Rory Foundation.
With Peter Lawrie, Simon Thornton, Gareth Maybin and Kevin Phelan also hoping for invitations, disappointments are inevitable.