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Golf: McIlroy would 'love' US PGA move to Royal Portrush

Reuters
Mcilroy of Northern Ireland reacts after putting on the 14th green during the second day of the Hong Kong Open golf tournament
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Rory Mcilroy of Northern Ireland reacts after putting on the 14th green during the second day of the …

DUBAI (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy has welcomed the idea of staging the US PGA Championship, one of golf's four majors, outside the United States with Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland a possible venue.

"I've spoken to Ted (Bishop, US PGA president) and to people at the PGA about this - they approached me a few months ago and I'd be all for it," McIlroy told reporters in Dubai after his second round at the DP World Tour Championship.

"It's quite a long way down the road, 10 years or so, maybe a bit more, but I'd love to be able to play a major championship at home."

The PGA of America confirmed last month that it is examining the prospect of staging the event outside the United States and Royal Portrush has emerged as a contender.

"Royal Portrush would be a great first international major," Bishop told the Golf Channel (www.golfchannel.com) on Thursday.

"I think given the powerful effect that Irish golfers have on the professional game today, that might be a good place to start."

Northern Ireland has not hosted a major championship since The Open in 1951 and McIlroy is certain that the country of his birth would have no problems in staging the event.

"Having the Irish Open there at Portrush made a huge impact, I think everyone saw how well it was supported so if they had 5-10 years to prepare it could be massive," the world number six said.

The 24-year-old, who was crowned US PGA champion in 2012, also believes that moving the tournament around the world would be good for the sport.

"The U.S. Open, (British) Open Championship and U.S. Masters can't really go elsewhere," added McIlroy.

"But if they're thinking of moving the PGA around a little bit I think it's a great thing for the growth of the game globally."

(Reporting by Matt Smith, writing by Michael Hann, editing by Justin Palmer)

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