A bid to bring a professional golf tournament back to Northern Ireland following the region's stunning success in the world game has been backed with a financial commitment from the Stormont government.
The power-sharing Executive in Belfast has pledged to stump up funding to help Royal Portrush Golf Club secure an event.
With three golfers from Northern Ireland - Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke - winning majors in the space of 13 months, tourism minister Arlene Foster said it was a case of striking when the iron was hot. She said: "Our golf courses are among the best in the world and our three major winners have proven that Northern Ireland is a top golfing destination."
She added: "The time is now right to bring a major international golf tournament to Northern Ireland. This will showcase our golf tourism offering all over the world and provide a major boost to our local economy.
"This will need a major commitment from Royal Portrush Golf Club, the European Tour, sponsors, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Tourism Ireland, Coleraine Borough Council and others. But I am confident that we will work well together to make this a world-class event."
The region's three stars have all backed the campaign and two of them - Royal Portrush members McDowell and last weekend's Open winner Clarke - joined the minister to make the announcement.
"This announcement is a great achievement for Royal Portrush Golf Club," said Clarke.
"The enthusiasm and support I have received since returning home has been overwhelming and I am keen to ensure golf remains in the foreground of everyone's minds.
"To secure a major tournament in my home town would be a fantastic result following all the hard work the club members and captain have been doing behind the scenes, as I know both Graeme and myself would completely support such a major event at our home club.
"I look forward to hearing which tournament and the date so I can make sure I will be home to compete."