Lough Erne loses Irish Open event

The Lough Erne Resort

Sir Nick Faldo designed the Lough Erne Resort course

The European Tour has announced that the Lough Erne Resort will not host the 2017 Irish Open.

There were doubts in January that the Fermanagh course may not stage the event and this was confirmed on Monday.

BBC Sport understands European Tour chief executive Keith Pelly met with First Minister Arlene Foster in regard to Lough Erne hosting the tournament.

The Tour is keen to stage the event on a links course and Portstewart is a possible alternative for 2017.

Tour officials have already visited Portstewart to check its suitability to stage the Irish Open.

In April 2014, it was announced that the 2017 event would be held at Lough Erne and supported financially by the Northern Ireland government.

“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,” said Pelly 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.”

Meanwhile, Danny Willett’s first European Tour appearance since winning the Masters on Sunday will be next month’s Irish Open at the K Club.

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