Irish Open sells out in Open Championship audition
By mustang6560 on 6/28/12
Following the triumphs of its native sons Graeme McDowell (U.S. Open '10), Rory McIlroy (U.S. Open '11), and Darren Clarke (Open Championship '11), Northern Ireland is no longer the golfing outcast of the United Kingdom.

In fact, not only is Northern Ireland hosting the Irish Open this week for the first time since 1953, the R&A is considering bringing the Open Championship back to the country of 1.8 million people for the first time since 1951. But, before the R&A agrees to let the often turbulent country host its pride and joy, Northern Ireland must prove it can handle the responsibility. And so far, it appears as though Northern Ireland's Open Championship audition is going well.
The event, held inside Northern Ireland for the first time since 1953 and along the north coast at storied Royal Portrush Golf Club, on Wednesday became the first sold-out regular event in European Tour history.
Assuming the rest of the Irish Open goes well, I fully expect to see the R&A give Northern Ireland the opportunity to host the major in the near future and Royal Portrush is a natural fit (it hosted the '51 Open Championship). But, the site of the Open Championship is set through 2016, so the first available opportunity Northern Ireland has to host the major is 2017.

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Image via Flickr, DUP Photos

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[ comments ]
mjaber says:
"...before the R&A agrees to let the often turbulent country host its pride and join..."

Perhaps you mean "pride and JOY"?
mustang6560 says:
Join, joy - same difference.
bkuehn1952 says:
Who is the guy in the middle?
joe jones says:
One of the things I always had on my bucket list was an opportunity to play in Ireland. I was there in the 50s while I was in the Navy but didn't have an opportunity to play.
As the saying goes "so many fine courses and so little time"
falcon50driver says:
Back when my buddies were showing pictures of their kids, I used to ask them if they would like to see a picture of my Pride and Joy, I had a photograph of a bottle of PRIDE furniture polish next o a bottle of JOY diswashing liquid.
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