Is Portrush set to be handed 2025 Open?
At the close of the 2019 Open Championship the general talk was that it wouldn't be too long before Royal Portrush would once again host the game's oldest major before too long.
The R&A's chief executive beamed that it had 'ticked a lot of boxes' and that 'big-time sport needs big-time crowds and they have been delivered here - enthusiastic, knowledgeable'. The crowds of 237,750, in some particularly miserable weather, set a new attendance record for an Open to be staged away from St Andrews.
On Wednesday the R&A have announced a joint press conference with the Northern Ireland Executive and Royal Portrush with the likely outcome will being that the Dunluce Links will get the nod for the 2025 Open – next year we are off to the Old Course for the 150th Open before moving to Royal Liverpool in 2023 and Royal Troon in 2024.
Should this happen it would mean that Royal Lytham has not staged an Open since 2012, likewise Muirfield in 2013.
North Antrim MP Ian Paisley was at this year's Open at St George's and he was confident then that Portrush would quickly return to the rota.
"The resources are in place to have another successful Open. The R&A invited me here because they want us to champion the Open back in Northern Ireland and make sure the messaging is good. All signals indicate the R&A are behind Royal Portrush."