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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Mount Juliet rules out Irish Open

Paul McGinley's golf bag
The Irish Open has secured the backing of a new title sponsor

Mount Juliet will not be the venue for next year's Irish Open.

The tournament's future has been in some doubt but earlier this week Irish sports minister Martin Cullen said that a sponsor had been found for the event.

Mobile phone company 3 will back the event and it was strongly speculated that the Kilkenny-based Mount Juliet club would host the tournament in May.

However, a statement from Mount Juliet said that it had "reluctantly" decided against staging the event.

"Mount Juliet was initially approached by The PGA European Tour in mid-October to ascertain if it would consider hosting The Irish Open Golf Championship, scheduled to take place in May 2009," said the statement.

"Mount Juliet has just now completed a detailed assessment of the many complex factors involved in staging a major golf tournament and has, reluctantly, come to the decision that it is not feasible for it to host the tournament.

"This decision is based on Mount Juliet's extensive existing contractual obligations at that time of year across the entire estate site."

The tournament has not had a main title sponsor since 2002 and the 3 deal is expected to be for three years.

The Irish Open, one of the European Tour's oldest events, is scheduled for 14-17 May, 2009.

It was staged at Adare Manor for the last two years, with England's Richard Finch winning in 2008.

Mount Juliet hosted the tournament from 1993 to 1995 when it was won by Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer and Sam Torrance.

The American Express World Championship was held there in 2002 and 2004.

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