The R&A has announced that Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland will host the Open Championship in 2019.

Portrush has not hosted a major championship since the 1951 Open won by Max Faulkner, but the Irish Open drew massive crowds there in 2012 and the likes of major champions Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell have been lobbying on Portrush's behalf.

Former R&A chief executive Peter Dawson had previously cited the record-breaking attendance at the 2012 Irish Open as both an "eye opener" and "tipping point" when it came to deliberations about taking the tournament across the Irish sea.

In August last year, club members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the course changes required to host the Open, which will be staged from 18-21 July.

The North's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said at the announcement that the decision to host the tournament was testament to the success of three local golfers, Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

It was also confirmed today that the Open Championship would be held at Royal Portrush twice more before 2040.

The tournament in 2019 will be only the second time golf's oldest major will have been played outside England and Scotland.

"One of the world's biggest sporting events is coming to our little country," Europe's Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke said. 
"Through our good times and bad times it is huge we've got the biggest golf tournament in the world. These pictures are going to go all over the world and showcasing Northern Ireland. The global and financial benefits are immeasurable."