British Open heading back to Portrush

06/16/2014 7:15 AM

06/16/2014 7:21 AM

(SportsNetwork.com) - The British Open Championship will return to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland for the first time in over 60 years.

It will mark the second time in the more than 150-year history of the tournament in which Northern Ireland will host the Open Championship.

The only thing not known at this point is which year Portrush will host the Open Championship. It will not be before 2019, and could be later than that.

Royal Portrush hosted the 2012 Irish Open, which was the first in European Tour history to sell out.

"This is wonderful news, not only for Royal Portrush Golf Club, but for the whole of Northern Ireland. The decision to bring the Open back to Northern Ireland is a tremendous vote of confidence in the game here and follows the huge success of the Irish Open in 2012, the first in European Tour history to sell out," said Peter Robinson, the First Minister of Northern Ireland. "The R&A's decision to invite Portrush to join the Open rota is a ringing endorsement of Northern Ireland and I know we will deliver an event that we can all be proud of."

The only other time Portrush hosted the Open was in 1951, when England's Max Faulkner won the title.

"Royal Portrush is one of the great links courses and we could not be more excited at bringing the Open back to Northern Ireland. We welcome the support of the Northern Ireland Executive and the various agencies involved who will play a key role in the Championship," said Peter Unsworth, the Chairman of The R&A's Championship Committee. "There is huge enthusiasm for golf in Northern Ireland and throughout Ireland and we expect fantastic support for the Open when it returns."

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