The Ulster Unionist Party’s sports spokesperson Michael McGimpsey MLA has welcomed the news that The Open Golf Championship is to return to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951.
Mr McGimpsey said;
“The news that The Open is to come to Royal Portrush in 2019 is fantastic news for the north coast in particular and Northern Ireland in general.
“The organisers have obviously taken notice of the huge success of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush in 2012 and have decided that it is time for The Open to return to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951.
“The north coast in particular is used to hosting world class events like the Milk Cup and North West 200, and this year of course the whole county ensured that the local leg of the Giro d’Italia was a huge success as the entire Province rallied behind the event.
“The television coverage of The Open will ensure that our wonderful north coast scenery is beamed to a massive audience, and the event itself will attract tens of thousands of visitors and provide another golden opportunity to showcase all that is good about Northern Ireland.
“I have no doubt that the return of The Open to Northern Ireland is due in no small part to the tremendous success of our local golfers, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy. Darren of course won The Open in 2011, and it would be the icing on the cake if one of the local boys could lift the famous claret jug in 2019.”