Open set to return to Royal Portrush

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The Open is expected to return to Portrush in 2019.

The Times understands an annoucement is expected to be made shortly, possibly on Monday to coincide with the first day of the Amateur Championship which is being staged at Portrush and Portstewart.

Rumours of the Open returning to Portrush have been circulating for some time, with reports on May 11 claiming a deal had been done for 2019, 68 years after Max Faulkner won the only Open staged outside England and Scotland.

The R&A, which organises The Open, has confirmed it will hold a press conference at Royal Portrush on Monday.

It is the first time since 1951 that Northern Ireland and the County Antrim course has hosted The Open.

The decision follows the successful staging of the Irish Open in 2012.

Portrush native McDowell, whose brother works at the club, said at the time: “It’s always been a dream of mine to play the Open there.

We’ll bring you more reaction from this news in Tuesday’s paper.