The Open: Royal Portrush may host major again as early as 2024

Graeme McDowell
McDowell finished tied 57th at Royal Portrush

Graeme McDowell has backed Royal Portrush to host The Open Championship again as early as 2024.

Golf's oldest major returned to the Dunluce Links for the first time in 68 years last week with Ireland's Shane Lowry sealing a six-shot win on Sunday.

The original deal guaranteed Portrush at least three Opens in 30 years.

However, after the success of this year's tournament the R&A is understood to be considering bringing it back to Portrush in 2024.

McDowell, who finished tied 57th after a final-round 77, says a return in 2024 would be "special".

"I've heard the whispers as well that we could be back here as soon as five years from now," said the 2010 US Open champion.

"I think with the financial commitment that Portrush have made to this, for it to get back soon and keep that Portrush train rolling would be huge," he added.

Lowry will defend at Royal St George's in 2020 while the 150th edition will be held at St Andrews 12 months later.

Royal Liverpool, the scene of Rory McIlroy's 2014 triumph, will host in 2022, with Muirfield expected to take over in 2023.

With St Andrews touted as the venue for 2025, that leaves 2024 as a possibility, with competition set to come from Royal Lytham, which last hosted in 2012.

"If we have to wait another 10 years, the icing might rub off between now and then and people might forget," McDowell added. "Hopefully we can get it back soon - it would be very special."

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