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Portstewart Golf Club to host 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

Portstewart Golf Club will host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open next year, setting up a three-week spell of links golf culminating in the Open Championship.

The Irish Open was held at the K Club in May this year and won by tournament host Rory McIlroy, but will be staged from July 6-9 in 2017, immediately preceding the Scottish Open at Dundonald and the Open at Royal Birkdale.

It is the third time the tournament will be played north of the border in six years after previous outings at Royal County Down and Royal Portrush.

McIlroy said: "Portstewart is an excellent links course and one of Northern Ireland's hidden gems, so it's great news that we are taking the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open there next year.

"Winning at the K Club earlier this year was without doubt one of the highlights of my career, and I'm already looking forward to defending my title at Portstewart next July.

"The crowds at Portrush and Royal County Down were unbelievable and I'm sure the people of Northern Ireland will come out to support the tournament again next year."

The Scottish Open is guaranteed its coveted place in the calendar up to and including 2020, although the Irish Open is keen for that to change.

Speaking earlier this month, Martin Gilbert - chief executive of Scottish Open sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management - said: ''I keep telling them they should switch the Irish and the French Open, and then you have the Irish, Scottish then the British. That would be the much more logical arrangement."

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From Belfast Telegraph