The eagle has landed as British Open comes to Royal Portrush

Golf’s oldest Major returns to Antrim in 2019

In the past, Royal Portrush had been ruled out a number of reasons, including concerns over infrastructure and commercial opportunities.

In the past, Royal Portrush had been ruled out a number of reasons, including concerns over infrastructure and commercial opportunities.

Thu, Jun 12, 2014, 01:01

PHILIP REID Golf Correspondent

The genie has escaped from the bottle. After months of speculation and denials and further speculation and no comments, it is finally going to happen: the British Open – golf’s oldest Major championship – is to return to Royal Portrush Golf Club in 2019, some 68 years after it was last staged on the famed Antrim links.

It is expected that the Royal and Ancient (R&A), who organise the championship, will confirm Royal Portrush as the host venue at an official news conference in Portrush next Monday. The event was last staged on the Dunluce links – the only time it has been staged outside of Scotland or England – in 1951, when Max Faulkner triumphed.

Success In the past, Royal Portrush had been ruled out a number of reasons, including concerns over infrastructure and commercial opportunities.

However, the successful staging of the Irish Open at the links in 2012 -– when over crowds in excess of 150,000 attended, the first sell-out on the European Tour – and the successes of Northern Ireland golfers combined to encourage the R&A to revisit the possibility of returning to the Causeway coast.

As part of the staging, two new holes designed by Martin Hawtree will be created midway through the current front nine. The holes in a new layout will replace the existing 17th and 18th holes.

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