European Tour Analyst Julian Tutt is at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland for coverage of The Irish Open. When the announcement was made that The Irish Open would be going to Royal Portrush this year, he was with many other people in that he felt it would be an absolute success. As soon as you walk on this course, you know that it is a special place. Everyone in Northern Ireland is so excited to have The Irish Open at Royal Portrush as evidenced by the sell-out of all four rounds. The crowds at the Wednesday Pro-Am were bigger than pretty much every event on the European Tour except for the BMW PGA Championship.
Queen Elizabeth II made a big visit to the country of Northern Ireland this week for the Diamond Jubilee celebration and her very presence in the country makes what is going on at Royal Portrush even bigger. Northern Ireland was going to be abuzz because of The Irish Open anyway but the visit of Queen Elizabeth II for very historical reasons makes this week even bigger and even better.
This is the first time in many, many years that The Irish Open has been held at Royal Portrush and many players in the field have never even visited this course. It has gotten rave reviews in part because every hole is so distinctive. The course as well as the weather presents many challenges so it will be interesting to see how the players perform this week.