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Golf: Local favorite Clarke makes bright start at damp Portrush

Golf: Local favorite Clarke makes bright start at damp Portrush
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Golf - The 148th Open Championship - Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, Northern Ireland - July 18, 2019 Northern Ireland s Darren Clarke hits the first tee shot of the Open Championship during the first round REUTERS/Ian Walton

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Local favorite Darren Clarke made a bright start to the British Open Championship at Royal Portrush on Thursday as crowds flocked to the first major in Northern Ireland since 1951.

Clarke, who lives in Portrush, collected three birdies from the opening five holes but a bogey on the par-five seventh tempered his impressive start.

Rory McIlroy, another player who can expect plenty of backing from the sold-out crowd, was due to tee off at 10.09 am local time (0909 GMT) in a group with 2019 U.S. Open winner Gary Woodland and England’s Paul Casey.

Despite damp weather for a second successive day, fans arrived early and in number for the sold-out tournament, with the expected total attendance of 237,750 making it the best attended British Open outside of St Andrews in Scotland.
Read more on reuters.com
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