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Golf News

Friday 29th November 2019

Portstewart to host 2021 Irish Open

The Irish Open will return to Northern Ireland in 2021 when Portstewart hosts the European Tour event for the second time in four years.

The news was announced at the club's AGM on Thursday evening.

Portstewart's members were told that discussions between the European Tour and the club resulted in an agreement being finalised last week.

The Irish Open returned to Northern Ireland after a 59-year gap when it was played at Royal Portrush in 2012.

The event proved to be a huge success as it attracted a then record attendance for a European Tour event.

Three years later, the event was staged at Royal County Down before Portstewart was the host venue in 2017 when Spaniard Jon Rahm clinched the first of his two Irish Open victories.

Royal Portrush's successful staging of the 2012 event helped convince the R&A to bring this year's Open Championship back to Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years.

The Open is expected to return to Royal Portrush over the next decade and Thursday's news surrounding the Irish Open will help to maintain the momentum of the sport in Northern Ireland, which is also aided by Rory McIlroy's exploits around the world.

Local hero Graeme McDowell is likely to be a strong candidate to undertake the tournament host role when the 2021 event takes place at Portstewart.

Next year's Irish Open will take place at Kilkenny venue Mount Juliet from 28-31 May.


BMW PGA Championship: Danny Willett wins by three shots at Wentworth

England's Danny Willett has won the PGA Championship by three shots after a five-under-par 67 on the final day at Wentworth.

Willett began the day tied for the lead with Spain's Jon Rahm, who shot 70 to finish second, with South Africa's Christiaan Bezuidenhout third.

It is the 31-year-old's biggest win since the 2016 US Masters and the seventh of his career.

Justin Rose was eighth after a 72, one place ahead of Rory McIlroy.


Ryder Cup 2020: Robert Karlsson named as one of Europe's vice-captains

Europe captain Padraig Harrington has selected Robert Karlsson as his first vice-captain for next year's Ryder Cup in Wisconsin.

Karlsson, 50, continues in the role after assisting Thomas Bjorn as Europe beat the USA 17½-10½ to regain the trophy in Paris last year.

Karlsson made two appearances in the Ryder Cup as a player, helping Europe to victory at the K Club in 2006 and playing in the defeat at Valhalla in 2008.

The 2020 Ryder Cup will be played at Whistling Straits Golf Club in Wisconsin, United States from 25-27 September 2020.


The Open 2022: Royal Liverpool to host major for 13th time

Royal Liverpool Golf Club will host the Open Championship in 2022.

It will be the 13th time the Hoylake venue has hosted the championship, with Rory McIlroy winning on the last occasion it staged the event in 2014.

Governing body the R&A said the 151st edition of the major will take place from 10-17 July.

This year's Open will be held at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, followed by Royal St George's in England in 2020 and St Andrews in 2021.


Race to Dubai: Biggest top prize in golf of £2.3m announced by European Tour

Golf's biggest first prize will be awarded at the European Tour's season-ending event in Dubai in November.

The winner will net $3m (£2.3m), an increase of $1.67m on the amount won by Englishman Danny Willett last year.

The aim is to encourage more big name players to complete the Race to Dubai.

Last year world number one Justin Rose skipped the tournament at Jumeirah Golf Estates because he had no chance of overhauling Francesco Molinari for the overall Race to Dubai title.

Only two players, Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood, still had the opportunity of winning the season-long money list by the time players arrived in the Middle East for the closing event.

The overall prize fund remains at $8m (£6.2m) but the field will be cut from 60 to the top 50 on the money list. The distribution of the prize money will be top loaded to provide the sport's largest winner's cheque for an individual tournament.

It is one of a series of changes announced by the European Tour for the climax of 2019 season. There are also significant increases for finishing first at the Turkish Airlines Open and South Africa's Nedbank Challenge.

The champion in Turkey will take home $2m and the following week at Sun City the winner will collect $2.5m.

Again, the total prize funds for both tournaments remain unaltered but the fields will be reduced, with 70 men at the Turkish event and 60 in South Africa.