McIl­roy backs move to stage US PGA in North­ern Ire­land

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

RORY MCIL­ROY has wel­comed the idea of stag­ing the US PGA Cham­pi­onship, one of golf ’s four Ma­jors, out­side the US with Royal Portrush in North­ern Ire­land a pos­si­ble venue.

“I’ve spo­ken to Ted (Bishop, US PGA pres­i­dent) and to peo­ple at the PGA about this – they ap­proached me a few months ago and I’d be all for it,” McIl­roy said in Dubai af­ter his sec­ond round at the DP World Tour Cham­pi­onship.

“It’s quite a long way down the road, 10 years or so, maybe a bit more, but I’d love to be able to play a Ma­jor cham­pi­onship at home.”

The PGA of Amer­ica con­firmed last month that it is ex­am­in­ing the prospect of stag­ing the event out­side the US and Royal Portrush has emerged as a con­tender.

“Royal Portrush would be a great first in­ter­na­tional ma­jor,” Bishop told the Golf Chan­nel ( www. golfchan­nel. com) on Thurs­day.

“I think given the pow­er­ful ef­fect that Ir­ish golfers have on the pro­fes­sional game to­day, that might be a good place to start.”

North­ern Ire­land has not hosted a Ma­jor cham­pi­onship since The Open in 1951 and McIl­roy is cer­tain that the coun­try of his birth would have no prob­lems in stag­ing the event.

“Hav­ing the Ir­ish Open there at Portrush made a huge im­pact, I think ev­ery­one saw how well it was sup­ported so if they had five-10 years to pre­pare it could be mas­sive,” the world No 6 said.

The 24 year old, who was crowned US PGA cham­pion last year, also be­lieves that mov­ing the tour­na­ment around the world would be good for the sport.

“The US Open, ( Bri­tish) Open Cham­pi­onship and US Mas­ters can’t re­ally go else­where,” added McIl­roy.

“But if they’re think­ing of mov­ing the PGA around a lit­tle bit I think it’s a great thing for the growth of the game glob­ally.” – Reuters

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