Northern Ireland news

The Open Championship looks set to return to Portrush

The Open Championship looks set to return to Royal Portrush Golf Club

THE Open Championship looks set to return to Portrush with an announcement expected next week.

It is understood that Royal Portrush will be named as the Open's venue for 2025, just six years after it successfully hosted the event for the first time in almost 70 years.

The return of the Open, regarded as one of the biggest events in golf, looks set to be announced on Wednesday when the R&A will hold a joint press conference with the Northern Ireland Executive and Royal Portrush Golf Club.

It comes amid mounting speculation that the Co Antrim links course is the front-runner to be awarded the event again after successfully staging it in 2019.

It received unanimous acclaim for its hosting of the major, which was won by Offaly's Shane Lowry, and was attended by a sell-out crowd of more than 230,000 people.

The four-day event also generated more than £100 million in revenue for the Northern Ireland economy.

Venues for the Open have already been assigned up to 2024 with St Andrew's hosting next year, Royal Liverpool in 2023 and Royal Troon in 2024.

It has also been reported that it would help the R&A break runs of successive tournaments in either England or Scotland.

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley last month said that he expected the Open would return to Royal Portrush.

Mr Paisley, vice-chair of the All Parliamentary Group for golf at Westminster, told the BBC: "I'm delighted it's coming back to Northern Ireland and the smart money is on 2025".

"The resources are in place to have another successful Open.

"We're making sure the course is prepared and there is a lot of political work going on behind the scenes."

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