DARREN CLARKE’S HARD work of promoting Royal Portrush as the venue of next week’s Irish Open has paid off.
A week out from the first tee-time, all tickets have been sold for the four-day event.
The inclusion of Northern Irish major winners, Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy has only added to the anticipation for the event.
It is the first time a (non-Major) European tour event has been entirely sold out and the mood surrounding the tournament is in stark contrast to the gloomy forecast which loomed over recent tournaments.
After two year’s in Killarney, Ireland’s showpiece tournament had faced an uncertain future as interest appeared to dwindle and sponsorship was difficult to come by.
“In previous years it may have been possible for spectators to turn up on the day and purchase tickets,” Allen Clarke of the NI tourist board told Sky Sports.
“We would strongly urge people not to try this on Saturday and Sunday as the event is completely sold out at the weekend and there is absolutely no chance of being admitted without a ticket.”
Championship director Antonia Beggs said that the course is preparing for a crowd of 100,000 people across the weekend.