Shane Lowry: Open win helps Irish 2026 Ryder Cup bid, says sports minister Shane Ross

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The moment Shane Lowry won the Open

Shane Lowry's Open triumph will help Ireland's bid to stage the 2026 Ryder Cup, says the Irish sports minister.

Adare Manor is understood to be a frontrunner to host the biennial match between the United States and Europe.

And organisers are likely to view the course even more positively after Irishman Lowry's six-shot win on Irish soil, Shane Ross told BBC Sport.

"Irish sport and Irish golf is really excelling now," said Ross, who was at Portrush for the final round on Sunday.

"We would absolutely love to see Shane teeing off, and other Irish players, in Adare. It would be absolutely superb."

Asked about the bid, he said: "We would be optimistic we would be in there with a shout."

The 2026 Ryder Cup is the next vacant date when the event comes back to Europe after the 2024 competition in America.

Adare in Limerick is likely to face rivals including The Belfry - the last English venue to stage the Ryder Cup, in 2002.

It is anticipated the 2026 venue will be announced some time this year.

"There's obviously very strong competition," said Ross. "I was over in Paris at the last Ryder Cup having a look at how they did things.

"The fact we have world-class courses, world-class players and that golf is now a national success, and because we have such fantastic hospitality, tourism and courses - makes it much more likely they will look at Ireland.

"We did [host the Ryder Cup] very well in 2006 at the K Club so we have proved we can do that. We have improved since then."

Adare Manor will host the JP McManus Pro-am next year, and is also being tipped to hold an Irish Open.

Europe will defend their Ryder Cup title at Whistling Straits in 2020 after a 17½-10½ victory at Le Golf National in Paris last year.

Future Ryder Cup venues
2020 - Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, USA2024 - Bethpage Black, Farmingdale, New York
2022 - Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, Rome, Italy2026 - Europe: To be decided

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'To do it at Portrush - you couldn't write it' says Open champion Lowry

'We are punching above our weight'

Lowry, 32, from County Offaly in the Republic of Ireland, finished on 15 under par as the Open was played in Northern Ireland for the first time in 68 years.

He was the fifth winner in 13 years from the island of Ireland with Dubliner Padraig Harrington's successes in 2007 and 2008 followed by the triumphs of Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke (2011) and Rory McIlroy (2014).

It was also the latest victory in a productive period for Irish sport, which has included Dubliner Eoin Morgan captaining England to victory in the Cricket World Cup and Irish boxer Katie Taylor becoming the undisputed women's lightweight world champion.

"We have a first Test at Lord's this week and will be going out to the Rugby World Cup in Japan later in the year with high expectations of doing well," said Ross.

"We are really punching above our weight here. The government has put a huge amount of support behind these sports, and hopefully it's enhancing our reputation as a place to play."

Lowry was cheered on by fans from all over the island and says many friends made a last-minute trip from the Republic after he took the lead.

"It's such a big triumph for Ireland, and in terms of north and south. The great thing about golf here is there are no borders," said Ross.

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