If the R&A isn't going to award the Open Championship to Northern Ireland's venerable Royal Portrush, then the PGA of America may award the first international PGA Championship to the venue.
PGA of America president Ted Bishop appeared on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive" on Thursday and, during the appearance, suggested the Dunluce links would be an outstanding major championship venue.
“Royal Portrush would be a great first international major,” Bishop said, according to this report. “I think given the powerful effect that Irish golfers have on the professional game today, that might be a good place to start.”
The PGA of America has confirmed it is considering taking their championship outside of the boundaries of the United States beginning in 2020 when its current television agreements with Turner Sports and CBS end. The organization has said it'd only consider moving the championship abroad once or twice in a decade, provided its television partners sign off on the idea and the championship maintains 20 spots in the 156-player field for PGA of America professionals who qualify for the season's final major through their national championship.
Royal Portrush hosted the Open Championship once, in 1951, as the only venue outside of England and Scotland to do so. Rumors have been swirling for since the major-championship success of Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke that the club would be in line to host the R&A's most prestigious event. However, R&A chief Peter Dawson has largely shrugged off the suggestion, citing infrastructure and potential security issues as deterrents. Nevertheless, several media reports have claimed Portrush is a lock to host the Open Championship in 2018.