Thompson excited by Open rumours

Royal Portrush. Picture by Darren Kidd/
Royal Portrush. Picture by Darren Kidd/

A five-time Open winner, who made his debut at the 1951 competition at Royal Portrush, is excited by news the famous tournament could be returning to the north coast.

Australian great Peter Thomson, now 84-years-old, who finished sixth in the tournament some 63 years ago said talk of an Open return in 2019 is excellent ‘news’.

“Although my memory of that time is faint, it is a classical links courses,” said Thompson from his Melbourne home. “I do remember playing two rounds with Joe Carr and I enjoyed the experience.

“So while it would have been good for the region to host the tournament more than just the once but then with accommodation being at a premium, and the Irish situation as it was, the R&A had to take all of that into consideration.

“To my reasoning there is nothing that should stand in the way of Royal Portrush hosting the event in this day and age. I will rejoice and delighted to see the Open return there.”

Hopes of a return in 2019 have been further boosted by the announcement the European Tour is taking the 2015 Irish Open to Royal County Down and the 2017 Irish Open to Loch Erne near Enniskillen.

“I’ve heard that rumour and it’s getting stronger, it sounds amazing that the 2019 Open Championship could be heading to Portrush,” said Graeme McDowell of the speculation.

“It was once a pipe dream but it’s now starting to feel more of being a potential reality. I would love for it to happen it would just be awesome”.