Graeme McDowell has announced that he will not be taking part in this year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
The Northern Irishman will instead defend his title at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship which takes place on the same weekend of 24 September, the week after the US Open at Winged Foot.
The Irish Open was originally due to take place at Mount Juliet in May but has been switched to Galgorm Castle in Northern Ireland due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will be played behind closed doors.
The 2010 US Open major winner confirmed his decision on his Instagram account.
"I have made the very difficult decision to not travel and compete in this year's DDF Irish Open at Galgorm Castle," he wrote.
"I have never failed to attend this great event in 18 previous years and regret that due to the necessary changes made to the event, travel and scheduling issues, I am choosing to not play this year.
"I will be competing that same week at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship, defending the title I won in 2019.
"Defending a title is something special and an honour I have tried to take seriously all my career.
"Under normal circumstances, defending this event would not take priority over playing my home Open but the unprecedented circumstances make this a better option for me at this time."
He added that he is hopeful of returning to the Irish Open in 2021.
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