Portmarnock seek government help to host major championships

Portmarnock will seek government help to make a formal approach to the R&A to host The Open and AIG Women’s Open.

Johnny Percival's picture
Mon, 9 Oct 2023

The Open was last held on the island of Ireland in 2019 when Offaly’s Shane Lowry won the Claret Jug at Royal Portrush. Last month Rory McIlroy confirmed the R&A were looking at Portmarnock as a potential venue, having previously hosted the Walker Cup and the Amateur Championship. 

Portmarnock will host the 121st Women’s Amateur Championship next year and now they are exploring the opportunity to bring both The Open and Women's Open to their Dublin links at some point in the future. 

Golf Ireland CEO Mark Kennelly believes hosting these events at Portmarnock would be another boost for Irish golf, as The Open returns to Royal Portrush in 2025 before the Walker Cup comes to Lahinch in 2026 and the Ryder Cup is at Adare Manor the following year. 

He said:

"Portmarnock is steeped in history and golfing tradition and we welcome their initiative to potentially host the AIG Women’s Open and The Open," says Kennelly.  
"This aligns with our vision to amplify Ireland’s footprint in international golf, building upon our successful hosting of prominent tournaments like The Open and the Ryder Cup. 
“We are eagerly anticipating more global golf events coming to Ireland in the future.” 

Portmarnock recently hosted the Men’s Amateur Championship where Mallow man James Sugrue was victorious in 2019 and Captain Niall Goulding is excited about the opportunity to welcome two Major events to their club. 

Goulding said:

“The Club has had informal contact with The R&A regarding the possibility of hosting the AIG Women’s Open and The Open at Portmarnock in the coming years,” said Goulding. 
 “Without a detailed survey, it is not possible to verify the ability of the property to act as host to a major championship, given the significant infrastructural requirements of such an event.  
“The Club has determined that Government support would be critical for a project of this magnitude and, consequently, will now approach the relevant Government authorities to establish their position on providing support for a formal application by Portmarnock to The R&A to host a major championship.”  

If Portmarnock were to host a future Open, it would be the first course outside of the UK to do so, marking a major turning point for the historic competition.

Discussing the possibility of Portmarnock hosting the event, McIlroy said:

"I think there's every chance that they're seriously looking at it. There has to be a lot that makes sense. But, you know, having a course that's so close to a major city, so close to a major airport, having a great golf course, I think it would be amazing.