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Open Championship coming back to Portrush

ESPN staff
June 24, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Royal Portrush proved it can host the biggest events when it held last year's Irish Open © Getty Images
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The Open Championship is set to be held at Royal Portrush in either 2018 or 2019, ESPN understands.

It will be the first time the Open has been held outside of England and Scotland for 67 years, when it was also held at the Northern Ireland club.

Earlier reports about the Claret Jug heading to Northern Ireland were dismissed by the club itself, as well as the Royal & Ancient, but fervent lobbying from Northern Ireland's recent major champions Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke has paid off.

The storied course's successful hosting of last year's Irish Open, where more than 100,000 spectators passed through the gates despite difficult weather conditions, also convinced the Open's organising committee that the course has the infrastructure to host golf's most famous tournament.

Jamie Donaldson won the 2012 Irish Open with a score of 18-under par.

England's Max Faulkner won the Claret Jug the last time it was held at Portrush in 1951.

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