Organisers of major golfing tournament The Open have confirmed it will return to the Liverpool City Region in 2022.
The championship, which is said to deliver an annual economic benefit of up to £100 million to its host region, will be played at Royal Liverpool golf course in Hoylake for the 13th time.
The Wirral competition will mark the 151st year of The Open, which was last staged in Hoylake in 2014 and saw Rory McIlroy become the third golfer from Northern Ireland to ever win the tournament.
A 2006 visit to Hoylake also saw The Open attract a record attendance for the championship outside of Scotland’s St Andrews course, with more than 230,000 fans turning out to see Tiger Woods lift the Claret Jug for the third time in his career.
The total was surpassed when The Open took place at fellow city region links Royal Birkdale in 2017.
Welcoming the news Councillor Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council, says: “We are thrilled to be welcoming the world’s best golfers back to Hoylake. The last time The Open was held on our peninsula our local businesses in Wirral and across the region enjoyed an economic boost to the tune of £76m.
“The impact of an event of this scale – the global profile, thousands of visitors – is just fantastic for everyone in our borough. Local shops, restaurants, and every resident, I am sure, will already be counting the days to what is always a special occasion.
“Making this announcement in 2019, the year when Wirral is officially the Borough of Culture for our region and during preparations for big sporting and cultural events in the next few months, makes it even more fitting. We can’t wait to welcome The Open and golf fans from around the world back to Wirral.”
Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram adds: “The Championship will undoubtedly provide a massive economic boost to the whole of the city region economy and will put the Wirral, one of the gems in our crown, in the global spotlight. We look forward to welcoming the golf fans from around the world who will flock to Hoylake in their tens of thousands, providing a tremendous opportunity to highlight what our city region has to offer.”