Royal Co Down set to host Irish Open

Published Wednesday, 19 February 2014
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The Irish Open looks set to return to Northern Ireland next year, with Royal Co Down the likely venue for the European Tour event.

Royal Co Down set to host Irish Open
The Royal Co Down course in Newcastle. (© Getty)

It would mark the first time since 1939 that the tournament has been played on the links course in Newcastle.

At this stage, European Tour officials are refusing to officially confirm the decision - which would come just three years after the success of the Irish Open being hosted by Royal Portrush.

The 2012 event, won by Welshman Jamie Donaldson, was the first trip across the border for the event in nearly 40 years.

More than 130,000 spectators travelled to the North Coast for the occasion, making it the first regular event in European Tour history to completely sell out.

SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has welcomed the news that the Irish Open will be staged in the Royal County Down in 2015 for the first time in 75 years.

She called for funding from the Executive and a reduction in the tourism VAT rate to maximize the potential of the event.

"The Royal County Down has already shown off its potential with the staging of the Senior British Open and the Walker Cup so I am confident that they will host a great event. I would like to congratulate all of those involved in the process of securing the event," she said.

"The Irish Open will allow South Down to showcase our tourism potential to a national and international audience. It is great news for the local hospitality industry, traders and retailers."

© UTV News
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6 Comments
Mark in Ards wrote (250 days ago):
Will they even let people in?? That club is so stuck up i wouldnt give them the pleasure!!!
the future in England wrote (252 days ago):
Every thing is going the right way all Ireland events in all of the country, Happy English man.
Patrick in newry wrote (252 days ago):
I hope that they have started to arrange car parking facilities as there is not much parking in Newcastle at the best of times.
Ro in Belfast wrote (252 days ago):
Agree with u @Dublin
Steffan in Belfast wrote (252 days ago):
Why is MP Margaret Ritchie congratulating 'all of those involved in the process of securing the event' when the first line of the artivle confirms that 'European Tour officials are refusing to officially confirm the decision' Surely the back patting comes after the confirmation? Hope Royal County Down do get it though. If I start saving now I might be able afford a ticket and go.
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