Irish Open heading back to Royal Portrush


The Irish Open appears set to be played at the home of the reigning Open champion.

The European Tour announced Thursday that a news conference will be held Friday at Royal Portrush, a place Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell both call home.

Tournament organizers had been looking to identify a new home for the event after deciding to leave Killarney G&FC. Some believed a course near Dublin was likely but it now appears to be heading to Northern Ireland's best course.

Ulster support for the move has been significant, including from its three major champions. Government officials also lent their support, offering to back the event at Portrush, which hasn’t hosted the Irish Open since 1947.

It is hoped a successful staging of the Irish Open at Portrush might convince the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews to bring the Open Championship to the club for the first time since 1951.

The tournament will be played June 28-July 1.