Officials from the R&A &recently inspected the course that played host to the 1951 British Open. The R&A were present at the course in 2012 monitoring the European Tour’s move to stage the Irish Open on the famed Dunluce Course and they will be back in June for the staging of the 2014 British Amateur Championship.
Among those who competed in the 1951 British Open was Australian great Peter Thomson, who made his championship debut in finishing sixth, and who would go on to capture five Claret Jugs.
And the now 84-year-old is excited the championship could be headed back to Royal Portrush.
“It’s excellent news if the return of The Open to Royal Portrush in 2019 is true,” he said from his Melbourne home. “To my reasoning there is nothing that should stand in the way of Royal Portrush hosting the event in this day and age.
“Although my memory of that time is faint, it is a classical links course. I do remember playing two rounds with Joe Carr and I enjoyed the experience.”
Also thrilled is born and bred Portrush resident Graeme McDowell.
“I’ve heard that rumour and it’s getting stronger, and it sounds amazing that the 2019 Open could be heading to Portrush,” said McDowell.
“I would love for it to happen and it would just be awesome”.
American Keegan Bradley contested the 2012 Irish Open as then PGA champion and he also gave the venue his blessing.
“Royal Portrush is an amazing golf course, an amazing golf town but then if the Open does head there it will be interesting to see how they handle 100,000 to 150,000 fans,” said Bradley.
Meanwhile, the inaugural EurAsia Cup ended in a thrilling 10-10 draw after Asia threatened to produce a victory to rival Europe’s ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Thongchai Jaidee’s side were whitewashed 5-0 in Thursday’s fourballs and trailed 7-3 going into Saturday’s 10 singles matches, leaving Europe needing just three-and-a-alf points for victory.
But Jaidee kick-started a stunning fightback by beating Ryder Cup hero McDowell 3&2 and after five further wins for Asia, the entire contest came down to the match between Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara, which eventually finished all square with pars on the final green to ensure a tie.