Is the Open Championship closer to a Northern Ireland return?

Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson says talks are continuing with the Royal & Ancient about a possible return of the Open Championship to the province.

Mr Robinson made the remarks after the confirmation that the 2015 and 2017 Irish Opens will be staged at Northern Ireland venues, Royal County Down and the Lough Erne Resort.

"We are talking to them [the R&A]. We have been talking to them for some time and we will continue to talk to them," added the Northern Ireland First Minister.

"We will continue to make every effort we can in order to bring the Open to Northern Ireland."

The Open's only previous time in Northern Ireland was the 1951 staging of the event at Royal Portrush and the county Antrim course will be the likely venue if the major championship returns to the province.