McIlroy ramps up pressure on Portmarnock
Rory McIlroy. 

Rory McIlroy. 

Rory McIlroy heaped pressure on Portmarnock to accept women members so they can host the Irish Open again

The world No 3 is determined to see the event return to its traditional home in the Dublin area as soon as possible.

And while that’s impossible with Portmarnock still a men only club like Muirfield, McIlroy won’t stop trying to persuade them to join the 21st century.

Muirfield was told by the R&A this week that they won’t be considered as a venue for The Open Championship again until they have women members.

And it’s the same Portmarnock, which has hosted the Irish Open 13 times since it was revived in 1975 with the last staging in 2003.

McIlroy said: “I’ve always thought that Portmarnock was one of the best venues for the Irish Open because of its proximity to Dublin and its proximity to the airport. 

“Obviously that issue (the men only issue) is holding them back as well.

“We have had conversations about it and they are in the process of taking the first few steps in maybe changing that rule.

“I am going to put as much pressure as I can on them to do that because I’d love to have the Irish Open there obviously. But at the same time, it is 2016 and these things have to change eventually."

Irishman Gavin Caldwell, a leading member and former captain of Portmarnock, is the current captain of the R&A.

On Wednesday, McIlroy said: “I had a good chat with Gavin Caldwell about this, and it's the same thing. I'd love Portmarnock to obviously change their rules and to get the Irish Open there one year would be fantastic.

“But it's never going to go there if they don't change the rules. They are never going to get any tournament really, and maybe they don't want to, I don't know,.

“They are never going to get any tournament if they don't change those rules. Look, it is what it is.”

Portmarnock canvassed its members last year believing the way was clear for a vote to accept women as members.

But the survey revealed that a considerable number of older members are still against the move and the matter is on hold.