The Open returns to Portrush

Confirmation that Royal Portrush is set to host the major championship in 2025

Doing the business ahead of The Open

Royal Portrush Golf Club will host the 153rd Open Championship in July.

Jonathan McNabb

Reporter:

Jonathan McNabb

Email:

johnny.mcnabb@yourlurgan.com

Royal Portrush has been confirmed as the host for the 153rd Open Championship.

Speculation had been mounting in recent weeks that the R&A earmarked 2025 for the return of the world's biggest golf tournament.

That would prove to be true as a press conference was held this morning confirming the news.

Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of the R&A, insists the "countdown starts now" for the event which is scheduled to take place from July 13 to 20.

In contrast to the 68 years between its first and second Open, Portrush had been fast-tracked by the R&A for a snap return after proving itself as a worthy venue.

Talk of the Open's return began almost immediately after the 148th Championship finished in July 2019, which was won by Irishman Shane Lowry.

Portrush had been guaranteed two more Opens in the next 30 years, as part of a ‘three-in-thirty’ deal negotiated between the R&A and NI Government.

At the time the R&A would only say Portrush would feature as a venue “for many years to come.”

But with an attendance of 237,750, the 148th Open was the second biggest ever after St Andrews’s 239,000 in the year 2000.

R&A accounts lodged last September revealed profits surged by almost £2m on the back of a commercially “successful” Portrush Open.

The documents state: “Revenues increased by 11 per cent in 2019, including an increase in broadcasting rights fee income, ticketing income, and retail from merchandise activities.

“The Open was held at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years and it proved to be a successful event commercially.

Royal St George’s in Kent was centre stage this summer hosting the 149th Open postponed from 2020.

Next year's 150th Open will be held at the home of golf in St Andrews.

In December the R&A confirmed Royal Liverpool as the venue in 2023 with Royal Troon hosting in 2024.

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