Dublin - The British Open is set to be held outside England and Scotland for the first time in over 60 years when it returns to Northern Ireland's Royal Portrush, tournament organisers the Royal & Ancient (R&A) said on Monday.

The Open championship was last held at the Northern Irish links course in 1951, the only other time the major championship was held anywhere but England and Scotland.

The R&A said it had invited Royal Portrush to host the event and that the club's members would now be asked to ratify the proposal. It added 2019 would be the earliest it could be held, but it may have to wait a further year or two.

Royal Portrush, in the hometown of major champion Graeme McDowell and which also counts 2011 Open champion Darren Clark as a member, has played host the Senior British Open in recent years and hosted the Irish Open in 2012.