Sneak Peek: This article will appear in the July 22 issue of Global Golf Post.
PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND | It will be the locals as much as an all-round love of the links which will prompt the Open Championship’s return to Portrush sooner than later. When Rory McIlroy spoke of how quickly he had felt at home when he returned to this favourite haunt of his golfing youth, he sounded no more comfortable than anyone else. Every competitor was basking in the warmth of a traditional Irish welcome.
Take Tiger Woods, for whom Royal Portrush is clearly up there with the best of the Open venues. When he was asked about being in Ireland, he delivered one of his full-on smiles as he remembered the days when he, Mark O’Meara and Payne Stewart would mix with the locals during assorted Irish fishing trips. In which connection, since this is not something to which Tiger himself was ever likely to refer, there was a time when the three of them were joining in with the local chat and someone mentioned a little boy who was sadly too ill to come ...
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