NORTHERN Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris was in Co. Antrim this week enjoying a spot of golf at the Royal Portrush course.
The MP attended the prestigious venue yesterday to hear plans for The Open Championship which returns to Northern Ireland in 2025.
It marks the third time the world-renowned event will be held at Portrush, with its most recent event, the 148th Open, taking place there in 2019.
That was one of the fastest selling events in the Championship’s history.
With 237,000 spectators attending it broke records as the best-attended Open outside of St Andrew’s in Scotland, and generated £106million in economic benefit for the North.
Teeing off at Portrush on Monday, August 28, Mr Heaton-Harris commended the local community for its efforts to see the golf championship return to the area.
“There has been an incredible effort by the local community and various bodies to bring The Open back to Portrush in 2025, and I am confident that it will further consolidate Northern Ireland as a competitive golf tourism destination while boosting the economy,” he said.
“Royal Portrush is an iconic venue that attracts local players and golf’s elite, and events like the Open put a global spotlight on Northern Ireland.
“With exciting events such as The Open, the future is bright for Northern Ireland tourism,” he added.
General Manager of Royal Portrush, John Lawler also shared his excitement for the 2025 Open Championship during Mr Heaton-Harris’ visit.
“We are proud to host the Open Championship again in 2025,” he said.
“The Open is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and to see it return to Northern Ireland and Royal Portrush so soon, is a recognition of the wonderful work done by all involved in 2019.”
He added: “The event provided a festival atmosphere in 2019 and drew spectators from golfing and non-golfing backgrounds.
“We are excited that the eyes of the world will once again be on Royal Portrush, the Causeway Coast & Glens Area and Northern Ireland and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best golfers back to challenge themselves on the Dunluce Course.”