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Paul McGinley is now confident that The Open will eventually be staged in the Republic of Ireland.

McGinley has told the Irish Independent that “it is more likely than not” that Portmarnock Golf Club will host golf’s oldest major – but perhaps not for at least a decade.

The R&A said this month that it was keen to “investigate the possibility” of staging The Open or Women’s Open at Portmarnock, with a spokesperson describing the Dublin venue as “undoubtedly one of the world’s outstanding links courses.”

That was after Rory McIlroy claimed it “would be fantastic” to see Portmarnock stage the first ever Open outside of the UK.

• Rory McIlroy: R&A looking to host The Open outside UK

• R&A exploring Open possibility for Portmarnock

And former Ryder Cup winning captain McGinley’s optimism is growing that the Claret Jug will be heading to Ireland.

“I think it’s a reality and it’s got more chance of happening than not happening, but the timeline is open,” he said.

“A lot of ducks have to be lined up before it could happen. But it’s certainly a potential reality. Who would have thought that 10 years ago?”

McGinley thinks Portmarnock measures up to all the other courses on the rota, but he has also warned that it will be quite some time before the links course is ready to host its first Open.

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“It will take a lot of boxes for the R&A commercially and while St Andrews is unique, Portmarnock is as good as or better than anything on the current rota,” he insisted. “The biggest challenge is getting in and out.

“With the Ryder Cup in 2027, wouldn’t it be wonderful to have something in the diary for 2030? But I think that timeline’s too short. I’d say realistically, we’re looking at nearer to 10 years from now.”

McGinley played in the 1991 Walker Cup at Portmarnock alongside fellow Irishman Padraig Harrington.  The venue has hosted the Irish Open 19 times and recently staged the Men’s Amateur Championship in 2019.

Royal Troon will host the next Open Championship from 18-21 July in 2024.

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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