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It's official: Open heading back to Royal Portrush

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One of the worst-kept secrets in golf is now official: Royal Portrush has been invited to host the Open Championship, though the tournament date has not yet been announced. 

The hosts for the 2017 and ’18 Opens have not yet been named, but it’s been reported by multiple media outlets that the Northern Ireland venue will likely stage the 2019 Open. The year’s third major hasn’t been held outside England or Scotland since 1951, when Max Faulkner won the claret jug at the Dunluce links.

The club’s members now must agree to course enhancements in preparation of the Open.

“Royal Portrush is one of the great links courses and we could not be more excited at bringing The Open back to Northern Ireland,” Peter Unsworth, the chairman of the R&A’s championship committee, said in a release.

The R&A said it was impressed by how Royal Portrush staged the 2012 Irish Open, with more than 130,000 rolling through the gates. The British Amateur is being held there this week.