PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland – Symbols matter more in Northern Ireland than most places.
For example, the color orange is deeply associated with the Orange Order, which is a protestant fraternal order that is squarely on the unionist side of the Northern Irish divide, and stirs deep feelings in this country that continues to be torn even two decades after the Good Friday Agreement was signed ending the violence.
It prompted some to ask Rickie Fowler, who is tied for fifth place at The Open, if he planned to wear his traditional Sunday orange outfit for the final round at Royal Portrush.
“I obviously know the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland. But a few people told me that being not a local, it doesn't necessarily matter as much or it shouldn't,” Fowler said following a third-round 66.
The crowds this week have been massive and wildly supportive, particularly of the Northern Irishmen in the field, and no issues have been reported. Fowler expects that to be the case on Sunday.
“I'll have traditional Sunday orange,” he said.