The R&A would seriously consider organizing the Open outside the United Kingdom for the first time in its history, world number 2 Rory McIlroy says.Is the very conservative Royal and Ancient about to experience a historic turning point?Particularly attached to traditions, the body in charge of The Open would indeed consider the candidacy of a course located beyond the borders of Great Britain to host the oldest major.The layout in question is that of the venerable Portmanock Golf Club on the near outskirts of Dublin, the creation of which dates back to 1893.
The Open, statements
“I think they are seriously considering it.
I think it would be fantastic,” Rory McIlroy said.“I was looking forward to Portrush coming back into the rotation, but I was worried about how they were going to manage other constraints, particularly commercial and logistical.
For a club wishing to host a major championship, there are so many other considerations that must be taken into account in the organization in addition to the need to have a superb golf course.According to the Northern Irishman, several criteria must be met to be a credible candidate.
In particular not being too far from a big city and an airport. This is the case of Portmanock ranked 6th best Irish course in the highly recognized Leading Golf Courses ranking.In addition, after voting in 2021 to admit women as members, Portmanock is now eligible according to the rules set out by the R&A.In December of last year, 9 women were inducted.
And in June 2024, it is here that the 121st Women’s British Amateur will take place.The tournament was first played in October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club on the west coast of Scotland, with eight participants competing in a single day over a distance of 36 holes.
The competition was born as an attempt to identify the new golf champion following the death of Allan Robertson, considered the best player of his era and who passed away in 1859; the first winner was Willie Park Sr., who beat Tom Morris Sr.
by two strokes. The following year the tournament became open to non-professional players as well. From 1871 the Open was not organized by Prestwick Golf Club alone, but the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers of Muirfiled were added; the Royal and Ancient Golf Club became the only organizer of the tournament since 1920. In 1892 the competition was extended to 72 holes, while two years later the first edition of an Open outside Scotland was held, at the Royal St George’s Golf Club, in England; in 1898 the cut was introduced after two laps of the course.The tournament has always been played since 1860 except for four occasions: in 1871, when no agreement was found on the new prize for the champion; between 1915 and 1919 due to World War I, between 1939 and 1946 due to World War II, and in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it has, as of 2023, 151 editions.