Past Open venues to host Amateur Championship

Royal Portrush and Carnoustie have been chosen as future venues for the Amateur Championship.

Portrush, venue for the 1951 Open, will host the Championship for the third time in 2014 on its renowned Dunluce Links with the initial stroke play qualifying stage shared with nearby Portstewart.

In 2015, the Championship will be staged at Carnoustie for a fifth time with qualifying also taking place at Panmure, a previous Open Local Final Qualifying course.

Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, The R&A’s Executive Director – Championships, said: “The Amateur Championship has a proud tradition of being contested over the finest links courses in the British Isles.

“I am delighted that the Championship will be returning to two past venues that will offer Irish and Scottish golf fans the chance to watch some of the world’s best amateur golfers in action.

“Previous Championships have seen some of golf’s greatest names, such as past champions Jose Maria Olazabal , Sergio Garcia and more recently Matteo Manassero, announce themselves on the world stage. I’m sure in 2014 and 2015 we will again see some future household names competing for the trophy.”

Portrush - which can count 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell as well as Open winners Padraig Harrington (2007, 08) and reigning Champion Darren Clarke among its members -  has a long history of hosting championship golf.

It first hosted the Championship in 1960, won by Ireland’s Joe Carr, and then again in 1993 when England’s Iain Pyman came out on top. It was the scene of Max Faulkner’s Open victory in 1951 and has hosted the Senior Open Championship six times, most recently in 2004. Portrush was recently named by the European Tour as the venue for this year’s Irish Open.

Meanwhile, County Londonderry’s Portstewart also has experience of hosting championship golf, most recently the British Girls Championship in 2006.

Philip Tweedie, Captain of Royal Portrush, said: “We are absolutely delighted to once again host the Amateur Championship in 2014 and look forward to welcoming the world top amateurs.

“Since the event was last played at Royal Portrush in 1993, work has been carried out on the links with eight new tees constructed, now making the course 7,143 yards long, producing a good test for the competitors."

Carnoustie is one of the most famous venues in world golf having hosted The Open seven times, most recently in 2007. The Angus links has also hosted the Amateur Championship in 1947, 1966, 1971 and most recently in 1992 when home favourite Stephen Dundas defeated Welshman Bradley Dredge.

As well as Open qualifying, Panmure hosted final qualifying for last year’s Ricoh Women’s Open, held at Carnoustie, and is regularly rated in the UK’s top 100 golf courses.

Graeme Duncan, General Manager at Carnoustie Golf Links, said: “The Amateur Championship remains one of the world’s foremost amateur events and it is a great honour for Carnoustie to be asked to host it in 2015.

“It is always a pleasure to work with The R&A in preparing for a tournament and we look forward very much to delivering the Championship course in the very best of condition for the event”.

This year’s Amateur Championship will be held at Royal Troon, with qualifying rounds at Glasgow – Gailes Links, from 18-23 June. Kent’s Royal Cinque Ports will be the venue in 2013 with qualifying shared with nearby Prince’s.