Royal Portrush wanted glory and Rory, it got just rain and pain. But the opening day of the 148th Open did provide a foundation for what could be a championship worthy of the setting on its return to Northern Ireland.
Russell Knox had his worst possible day on Tuesday and left Royal Portrush bereft that he’d lost his swing just two days before the Open Championship.
Tiger Woods looked supremely uncomfortable from the moment he appeared on the first tee at Royal Portrush. He never looks entirely comfortable standing at the interview zone either, but it was physical irritation that most concerned him yesterday.
Even if you don’t like Rory McIlroy – and I’ve always found it a bit strange that anyone doesn’t like him – you couldn’t have wished yesterday at Royal Portrush on him.
Down along the rolling terrain beside the 18th fairway at Royal Portrush, the rainstorm mercifully abated and Carol MacIntyre thought it might be a good time to get a wee snap of the Big Yellows, the famous scoreboards that sit atop the main grandstands flanking the green.
Sam Locke is becoming his own man, plotting his way around Royal Portrush without the advice and oversight of his mentor Paul Lawrie, before both play in the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Of all the home players at Royal Portrush this week, only one of them was actually born and brought up in the town, and if he hadn’t qualified for the event, he’d have had to go somewhere – anywhere - else.
Rory McIlroy doesn’t feel like a human shield for the rest of the field this week at Royal Portrush – instead he feels the focus is spread across the field.
The Open at Portrush will attract the second-biggest crowd in the championship’s history with 237,750 attending, and the R&A are “respectful guests” of them and the Northern Irish town, said chief executive Martin Slumbers.
Robert MacIntyre continues to live his dreams, but is determined not to let it go to his head, hence a decision to stand up European heroes at Royal Portrush.