The chances of Royal Portrush staging the Open Championship are fading after R&A chief executive Peter Dawson warned Portrush officials not to "expect anything imminent.""

A successful staging of this year's Irish Open at Portrush was expected to boost hopes of the Open returning to the venue for the first time since 1951.

Major winners Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell have all backed the plans to bring the Open to the Northern Ireland course.

However Dawson put a dampener on those expectations ahead of Thursday's first round of the 141st Open at Royal Lytham, revealing a lot of hard work and "a huge amount" of money still needs to be spent