Home > Sport > Golf
Friday June 13, 2014 MYT 2:57:50 AM
Friday June 13, 2014 MYT 2:58:55 AM
by andrew both
PINEHURST North Carolina (Reuters) - Graeme McDowell is delighted that the "fruits" of his labour have helped get the British Open to return to his homeland of Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951.
An official announcement is expected to be made by the Royal & Ancient (R&A) on Monday, saying that the 2019 Open championship will be held at Royal Portrush in McDowell's hometown.
McDowell said after the U.S. Open first round on Thursday that he and his fellow Northern Irish golfers, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke, had long been trying to persuade the R&A to bring the Open back to their homeland.
"It's a result of a lot of gentle ribbing in the direction of Mr. Dawson (R&A chief executive Peter Dawson) the last four or five years from myself and McIlroy and Clarke," McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion, told reporters at Pinehurst.
"It's nice to see the fruits of our labour. It's going to be a very special thing for Northern Ireland and Ireland in general. It speaks volumes of how far the country has come.
"I'm very proud of where I grew up. I'm very proud of the tradition and history there."
But McDowell, who will be 40 in 2019, is not taking his participation in that year's British Open for granted.
"I just hope I'm exempt and playing well," he said, after carding a two-under-par 68 at Pinehurst.
(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)
British Open set for Royal Portrush return
McDowell seeks boost ahead of British Open
Karlsson, Hoey, Rui qualify for British Open
McDowell retains French Open as Stadler implodes
British Open spots up for grabs in Australia under new system
Scott hires new caddie for 2015
'Celtic Tiger' McIlroy emerges dominant in 2014
Westwood to defend Malaysia Open golf title in February
Arjun returns to winner’s circle in Dubai Open
Ladies, time to stand up and fight for your man
Looking out for your ears
Envoy to return as tour guide for Malaysians on trip to Philippines
MNC to launch tools designed to help SMEs handle new tax
China condemns cyberattacks, but does not mention North Korea
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)