By Cillian Doyle.
Up to 5,000 fans will be Kilkenny bound tomorrow, as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open tees off at Mount Juliet.
It's the first time the region has hosted the tournament in 26 years, however, COVID protocols mean Kilkenny won't reap the usual economic benefits of hosting a major tournament.
— Horizon Irish Open (@IrishOpen_) June 30, 2021
Usually accommodation and hospitality would be booked out across the region, with the tournament teeing off tomorrow.
Gowran Park racecourse had their own festival of events to coincide with last year's scheduled running cancelled.
Speaking to Beat, course manager Eddie Scally says the region's set to majorly miss out this time around.
"It's great that it's a test event coming to Mount Juliet - but the return to the region is going to be hugely down - this event is worth so much to the Carlow/Kilkenny area - and even North Waterford."
"It would have been a huge event for tourists coming down to stay with us and even for all the golf courses in the area - I think we've missed out on a huge weekend of golf."