Football loving US Open golf champion Graeme McDowell will open the Northern Ireland Milk Cup tournament this weekend.
The Manchester United fan says he is thrilled to be asked to kick off one of the biggest sporting events in the country.
“It’s a huge honour for me right in my own backyard,” says the Portrush man after competing at the Championship at St Andrews.
“I have grown up with the Milk Cup and enjoyed watching games at the tournament over the years.
“As a Manchester United supporter I have always been thrilled with their unswerving loyalty to the competition and of course they have a fabulous record in the competition too.”
McDowell (right) is unable to take part in the traditional parade of competing teams but will be at Coleraine Showgrounds to greet the 900 plus players who will make their way into the ground on Sunday evening.
Tournament chairman Victor Leonard says: “We think it is fitting that a sporting star of Graeme’s calibre should be our guest of honour this year.
“He has brought enormous prestige to the area by winning the US Open and we think it is the ideal way to salute his achievement. Local people are so proud of what he has achieved.”