Royal Portrush to host 2014 British Amateur Championship

Royal Portrush has received its second boost in a month after it was selected to host the British Amateur Championship in 2014.

The north coast club will be staging the event for the third time, with Joe Carr winning in 1960 followed by Iain Pyman in 1993.

The qualifying stages will be shared with the nearby Portstewart club.

Royal Portrush was confirmed last month as the venue for this year’s Irish Open, from 28 June to 1 July.

“Since the event was last played in 1993, work has been carried out on the links with eight new tees constructed, now making the course 7,142 yards long, producing a good test for the competitors,” said Royal Portrush captain Philip Tweedie.

The fresh boost will increase hopes that the Open Championship could return to the Dunluce Links for the first time since 1951.

There was a clamour for the major to come back to the course after Darren Clarke’s triumph at Sandwich last year.

Clarke said Royal Portrush would be “an awesome venue” for the Irish Open.

Clarke and former US Open champion Graeme McDowell, who both have strong links with the north coast, have agreed to act in an ambassadorial role for Royal Portrush, which will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2013.

European Tour chief George O’Grady said that links courses “do not come any better than Royal Portrush”.

Portstewart also has experience of hosting championship golf, most recently the British Girls Championship in 2006.