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British Open Returns To Northern Ireland After 68-Year Absence – Play Begins Thursday At Royal Portrush Golf Club

Here are the numbers: This is the 148th British Open. It hasn’t been played in Northern Ireland since 1951, 68 years ago if you’re keeping the score at home....

(Photo Source: theopen.com)

Here are the numbers:

This is the 148th British Open. It hasn’t been played in Northern Ireland since 1951, 68 years ago if you’re keeping the score at home. About 190,000 people are expected to attend, as tickets sold out almost immediately. Beginning Thursday, 156 golfers will seek to be among the 70 who make the cut and compete on Saturday and Sunday for the Claret Jug.

Royal Portrush Golf Club was the scene of Max Faulkner’s Open victory in 1951. It has undergone major renovations since it was named in 2014 as this year’s site. The tournament has been contested in Britain, Scotland and on this links course in Northern Ireland’s coast.

Here are some terms you will hear that will endear Royal Portrush to you:

The fifth hole is nicknamed White Rocks. The green is at the end of the course, not far from White Rocks Beach. The seventh hole is called Curran’s Point, the eighth Dunluce (sounds like a Harry Potter novel).

The par-3 16th hole is known as “Calamity Corner.” That’s not good news for the contestants who will find the green extremely small and the rough near it very, well, rough.

The Open is the last of this year’s majors. If it can generate anywhere near the excitement of the just-concluded British Open tennis tournament, it’s going to be a fascinating event.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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