While The 148th Open will be played at Royal Portrush from 18-21 July, with golf’s first Championship making a historic return to Northern Ireland after 68 years, there is a full season of prestigious amateur championships and international matches being staged by The R&A.
The Walker Cup will be played at another of the historic venues for The Open, Royal Liverpool, which will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its foundation when it hosts the biennial contest between Great Britain and Ireland and the USA for a second time. The Wirral links was the setting for the United States’ 13½-10½ victory in 1983 when it first staged the event.
Royal Liverpool also retains an enduring link with the amateur game, with the club having been instrumental in founding The Amateur Championship and hosting the inaugural event in 1885, and also serving as the venue for the first international match between GB&I and the USA in 1921, which led to the creation of the Walker Cup.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at The R&A said, “We can look forward to a wonderful season of championships and international matches in 2019. Our priority is to ensure that we provide excellent tests of golf for our competitors at each level of the game and we are delighted to be working with some top class venues. These events provide a tremendous platform for the players to compete with their peers and perform at the highest level.”
Three prestigious links courses will host the flagship events of the men’s and boys’ amateur seasons. The 124th Amateur Championship will be played at Portmarnock in Dublin, with The Island also hosting stroke-play qualifying for the Championship. It will be the first time The Amateur has been played on the north Dublin peninsula since 1949 when Max McCready defeated Willie Turnesa in the final.
Portmarnock, which will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2019, has a long history of hosting championships, including professional events such as the Irish Open and the Dunlop Masters, as well as prestigious amateur events including the Walker Cup, the St Andrews Trophy, the Jacques Leglise Trophy, the Canada Cup and the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship.
The Boys Amateur Championship will return to Saunton for the first time since 1997, when Sergio Garcia won by 6&5 against Richard Jones, and will be played on the East and West courses. The Devon links has hosted events such as the St Andrews Trophy, the English Amateur Championship and the Ladies’ British Open Amateur Championship.
Elsewhere, The R&A has named three venues where the following events will be played for the first time; The Jacques Leglise Trophy match will be played at Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast, the Boys Home Internationals will be played at Ashburnham on the Welsh coast, and the Seniors Amateur Championship will take place at North Berwick in East Lothian.
The dates for the Championships and International Matches in 2019 are as follows:
The Amateur Championship, Portmarnock and The Island: 17 – 22 June
The 148th Open, Royal Portrush: 18 – 21 July
The Seniors Amateur Championship, North Berwick: 31 July – 2 August
The Boys Home Internationals, Ashburnham: 6 – 8 August
The Boys Amateur Championship, Saunton, East and West courses: 13 – 18 August
The Jacques Leglise Trophy, Aldeburgh: 30 and 31 August
The Walker Cup, Royal Liverpool: 7 and 8 September
The R&A www.randa.org