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Reports: Royal Portrush gets '19 Open Champ.

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PINEHURST, N.C. – Multiple media outlets are reporting that the Royal & Ancient will announce the 2019 Open Championship will be played at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland.

An announcement is expected later this month and even Graeme McDowell, who has been reluctant to talk about the Open’s possible return to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951, seemed confident with the impending announcement.

“I’m very proud of where I grew up and to have an Open back to Northern Ireland is very special,” said McDowell, who grew up playing Royal Portrush, following his round on Thursday at the U.S. Open.

According to the various reports, the championship is poised to make multiple trips to the links course, which is about an hour from Belfast.

“This is the result of a lot of gentle ribbing by myself and Rory (McIlroy) and Darren (Clarke),” McDowell said.