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The Open's Return To Royal Portrush Kickstarted By McDowell's Win At Pebble Beach


Watson’s day job as BBC Northern Ireland’s sports reporter had led him to ask a representative of the R&A if there was any hope of the Open returning to Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951.

“There was no chance–it was pretty clear that they were not even close to considering it,” recalled Watson, before adding: “How things have changed.”

The excitement in the room that January evening was palpable, one born of an understanding that the country had not only witnessed the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, the key political driver to the peace process, but ...


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