The Open Championship to return to Royal Portrush in 2025

Record breaking crowds attended the event at Royal Portrush in 2019. Photo by Charles McQuillan/R&A/R&A via Getty Images

The Open Championship is heading back to Royal Portrush in 2025, the R&A announced on Wednesday.

The world's oldest major championship will return to the Northern Irish venue after a successful staging of the event there in 2019 when Irish player Shane Lowry won by six shots.

"We could not be more thrilled to be bringing The Open back to Royal Portrush in 2025," chief executive of the R&A Martin Slumbers said in a statement.

"There will be huge excitement among golf fans around the world to see the best men's players facing the challenge of this magnificent links once again."

That marked the first time Royal Portrush had hosted the event since 1951.

Some 237,750 spectators attended the four days of the 2019 Open, a record attendance in the championship's 161-year history.

A record 61,000 spectators attended practice days, too.

An independent report produced by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University found that the Northern Ireland economy benefited directly to the tune of £45 million pounds ($61.92m) with an additional £37.3m of advertising equivalent value (AEV) generated by global television coverage.

"The Open in 2019 was a massive success and showed just how much collective enthusiasm, passion and commitment there is to make Royal Portrush one of the leading venues for the Championship and to build a distinctive golf tourism brand for Northern Ireland," Slumbers said.

Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said the return of the Open to Portrush would help stimulate investment in the local economy in the COVID-19 recovery era.

"Following a tumultuous period that has greatly affected travel, tourism and events I now look to the future with greater optimism as well as look forward to welcoming our international visitors back to the north coast to explore the very best of what we have to offer," she said.

Before 2025, the Open will be held at St. Andrews next year, Hoylake in 2023 and Royal Troon in 2024.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.