Ballyliffen in talks to host Irish Open prior to The Open in Portrush

ballyliffin gcThe British Open Golf Championship is to return to Northern Ireland for the first time since 1951, with Royal Portrush expected to host the tournament as early as 2019.

The Royal and Ancient had said last month that it remained "some distance" from being able to stage the Open in the North.

However, the R&A is expected to confirm Portrush as an Open venue early next week after discussions with the club and the Northern Ireland Executive.

And the Manager of Ballyliffin Golf Club, John Farren says Ballyliffen would be hopeful of hosting the Irish Open immediately prior to The Open in Portrush: