McKevitt: Irish Open at Royal County Down ‘a huge boost’
Having warmly welcomed reports in February that the prestigious tournament was marked for a return to Newcastle, the SDLP Culture, Arts and Leisure spokesperson said it would be a huge boost for the area with the event watched on television screens around the world.
The South Down MLA said: “I am delighted the Irish Open looks set to be hosted north of the border once again, especially as the host venue is in my constituency of beautiful South Down. The course at Royal County Down is superb and has already hosted major tournaments, including the Senior British Open, the Walker Cup and the Irish Open back in 1939. It will be wonderful to see such a thrilling event return to Newcastle.
“I congratulate the management, members and staff at Royal County Down on providing a world class facility fit for some of the world’s best golfers.
“The hugely successful 2012 Irish Open hosted by Royal Portrush was the first Irish Open held north of the border since 1953, and made European Tour history having been the first regular event to sell out completely.
“With the help of our own high profile golfers we are rightly recognized as a popular host region for all types of prestigious sporting events, including the World Police and Fire Games hosted in Belfast last summer, and the Giro d’Italia taking place next month. I hope to see many more major sporting competitions come to the north of Ireland in the future.”