The R&A has confirmed Royal Portrush will host the Open Championship in 2019.

Portrush last hosted golf’s oldest major in 1951, and it was announced the event will be staged at the course twice more in the next 30 to 40 years. John Bamber, chairman of the championship’s organising committee, said the announcement was “one of the greatest days in the history of Royal Portrush.” “Most of the independent financial surveys that are completed on the Open Championship would suggest that it brings something between £55m to £70m in the year of the Open to the wider community in the venue’s area.” The famous links course hosted the 2012 Irish Open, and remains the only venue to host the Open outside of the main island of Great Britain.

Portrush’s suitability depended on the club making course and infrastructure changes, with the alterations being agreed upon by members earlier this year.

Peter Dawson, who stepped down as secretary of the R&A in September last year, described Royal Portrush as “one of the world’s truly great links courses”, one with a “rich golfing heritage.” Local players Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke have all won major tournaments in recent years, which strengthened the country’s campaign for the competition.

The decision to choose Royal Portrush is something of a coup for Northern Ireland and McIlroy and Clarke have no doubt that the course will be a fitting venue.

McIlroy, who lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in 2014, added: “Royal Portrush is one of my favourite golf courses in the world. They are going to add a couple of new holes to the golf course and I think that will be a great addition and will make the course even stronger.” Clarke added: “This is going to be absolutely huge for Northern Ireland and, indeed, Ireland as a whole. To have the world’s biggest and best golf Championship played at such a fantastic venue as Royal Portrush, with all the passion that the Irish fans will bring to the event, is going to be amazing.” England’s Max Faulkner won the Open when Portrush last hosted the event 64 years ago.

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