How to Watch the 2019 Open Championship
If you can’t make it to Royal Portrush, we know you’ll be camped in front of the big screen each morning to follow the action… Below is a primer with everything you need to know and more. Enjoy!
–Formed in 1888, Royal Portrush Golf Club has the historical distinction of being the first club ever to host the Open tournament outside of mainland United Kingdom.
— A classic seaside links, it has magnificent ocean panoramas. The fairways are set in natural valleys between massive sand dunes. With the limited number of bunkers, the greens are protected by small natural grassy knolls and mounds.
–For the 2019 Open, some changes were recently made to up the challenge for today’s bombers off the tee. Architect Martin Ebert created the new par-5 7th and par-4 8th holes. Stretching to 572 yards, the 7th hole will challenge even the big hitters off the tee. Ebert also added five new bunkers to increase the total to 64, which, incidentally is the lowest number of any links in the Open rota, new back tees and he pushed back the second green to lengthen the par 5. The Ebert changes resulted in the total yardage moving from 7,187 yards to 7,337 yards.
–The most spectacular and photogenic parts of the Dunluce are by the shoreline. Called “White Rocks” the fifth hole, a 411-yard par-4 is absolutely stunning. A dogleg hole played from an elevated tee towards the ocean, it requires a testy shot across a wide expanse of rough to have a chance at birdie. White Rocks beach sits just beyond the back of the green. Another thrilling hole, and one that will definitely have a say in the ultimate winner on Sunday, is the the 210-yard par 3 16th, a target golf special.
–The Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush is named after the ruined Dunluce castle that stands sentry over the course.
Favorites to Win
The oddsmakers favorites to win are Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Francesco Molinari.
Interesting Things to Know
— Northern Ireland ‘s Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke all grew up in the area and have played Royal Portrush numerous times.
— Rory McIlroy set the record for the old format of the course with a round of 61 in 2005 when he was 16 years old.
— Graeme McDowell has reportedly played Royal Portrush between 300 to 500 times.
— It’s the first time the event has been held in Northern Ireland since 1951.
— According to Golf Digest, more than 190,00 tickets were made public, a fifth of which were gone within 48 hours of posting. It’s the first time in 148 years the Open has sold out.