G-Mac’s hype intensifies after getting first look at Open course
It seems quite fitting that Graeme McDowell was one of the first players to get a glimpse of the Open course at Royal Portrush.
Having sealed his place in the Open field with a monster putt on the 72nd hole of the Canadian Open last month, McDowell jetted home to get a first look at what lies in store at the Dunluce Links.
“It looks fantastic and it is so unusual to come to a golf course that I’ve never seen stands on,” he said.
“Typically where we play, we see golf courses with stands and it’s unusual to see them without stands, so it’s so great to come back here to my home town, to play this golf course with all the great memories I have here and see it prepped for The Open.
“It’s such a big show here and they’ve done such a great job with the infrastructure. There are so many great viewing spots for the fans and I imagine it’s going to be an amazing week.
“The first tee’s cool and there’s some nice seating around there. It will be a special moment standing on that first tee on Thursday morning and hearing my being announced ‘from Portrush, Northern Ireland’. It will be the start of what is hopefully going to be a special weekend.”
While he hasn’t won a major since his memorable US Open victory at Pebble Beach in 2010, the return of the Open to Portrush has given the Northern Irishman newfound belief that he could still get his hands on the coveted Claret Jug.
And after a quiet spell, McDowell has also been showing some very encouraging signs of form, securing his first PGA Tour victory since 2015 at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in March.
It means he could well be a factor in the Open later this month.
“It’s important I don’t come here to enjoy the atmosphere. I’m coming here to compete,” McDowell added.
“There is no better walk in golf than the 18th at an Open Championship. It has a special look, a special sound and to be here late on Sunday afternoon walking up here with a chance to win the Claret Jug – that would be the dream on top of the dream.
“For The Open to be back here is a dream come true but to be able to compete and have a chance to win, that would be extra special.”
PING refresh PLD Milled putters – and the standards are as high as ever
There is nothing about the 2024 PING PLD Milled putters that is really surprising but the range lives up to the name.
Tiger Woods makes rare wood change in adjusted 2024 bag
Tiger Woods makes a big change.
11 of Texas’ best exclusive golf courses that you’ll probably never play
Texas has a fine selection of private golf courses worth adding to your bucket list.
WATCH: Wife makes no attempt to hide laugher watching husband mishit golf shot
If you can’t laugh at yourself on the golf course bring your wife along.
WATCH: Golfer struggles to get down the green in treacherous wind and rain
What does it take to get you off the golf course?
The 7 best balls for low swing speed golfers to get more distance
Get more distance with these balls.
WATCH: Amateur golfer suffers pain of double-hit attempting chip for bogey
Double-hits are no longer punished the same way as before.
Why Bandon Dunes is a must visit golfing mecca in Oregon
Bandon Dunes is a special golf resort.
WATCH: Paige Spiranac takes on Country Club Adjacent’s Back Off Challenge
Country Club Adjacent finally lined up Paige Spiranac for a backoff challenge.
Quiz: Can you name the last ten venues to play host to The Open Championship
The Open Championship stands out as the singular tournament that embodies the spirit of competitive golf for most people.