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R&A 'still some distance' from taking Open to Portrush

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The R&A on Sunday denied recent media reports that the Open Championship is very likely to return to Royal Portrush in 2019.

Whether the year’s third major will be held in Northern Ireland has been the subject of speculation for the past few years, but in a statement the R&A said it was “still some distance” from being able to add the famed links to the Open rota.

“The R&A continues to discuss this at a conceptual level with Royal Portrush Golf Club and the Northern Ireland Executive,” the organization tweeted from its account. “Discussion has been positive but we are still some distance from being in a position to take The Open to Northern Ireland.” 

The Open hasn’t been held outside of England and Scotland since 1951. 

Royal Portrush will host this year’s British Amateur, and media reports have indicated that an announcement regarding the 2019 Open could be made after that tournament.  

The R&A hasn’t announced where the 2017 and ’18 Opens will be contested, either.