Golf fans have been flocking to Belfast to catch a glimpse of the world-famous Ryder Cup as part of its two-day whistle-stop tour of Northern Ireland.
The trophy was given a warm welcome at city hall by Lord Mayor Arder Carson before going on public display at the dome at Victoria Square where it will remain until 9pm on Wednesday.
Many fans queued in their droves to have a picture alongside the famous 17 inch cup.
The figurine-topped trophy is on a two-day tour of Northern Ireland, as part of The Ryder Cup Trophy Tour, which was officially launched by Darren Clarke at Royal Portrush Golf Club yesterday.
Lord Mayor Arder Carson said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have the Ryder Cup Trophy Tour here in Belfast. The Ryder Cup draws massive interest in Northern Ireland, because we always have quite a few players involved, and especially this year with Darren Clarke captaining Europe.
“It’s great that people can have the opportunity to get their photograph with it, and it makes the competition all that more personal for the people of our city.”
Billy Garrett, from Belfast, was one of many to queue up to have his photograph taken.
He said: “It made the hairs stand on the back of my neck. It’s fantastic for the people associated with the Ryder Cup to bring the Trophy to Belfast. Given the history of the Ryder Cup I’m fortunate to be here.”
Golf fan Paula Danvir from Holywood also jumped at the chance to see the famous Trophy.
She said: “Being from Rory McIlroy’s hometown, I’ll definitely be watching the Ryder Cup in September. It’s been a fantastic opportunity to see the trophy in person, and I nearly got a bit too excited when it was my turn to have my picture taken.”
Northern Ireland is one of a select group of European countries to stage The Ryder Cup Trophy Tour over the coming months, with the roadshow also visiting France and Italy, the next two European countries to host the contest in 2018 and 2022.
The historic Trophy was commissioned by English businessman Samuel Ryder, the founder of The Ryder Cup. After becoming a very successful seller of seeds, Ryder wanted to get an official match with the best golfers in Great Britain squaring off against America’s best. He donated the trophy in 1927, and the Ryder Cup was born.
The 41st Ryder Cup itself takes place at Hazeltine, Minnesota from September 30 to October 2. In recognition of this year’s host nation and, working in conjunction with the PGA of America, the Trophy Tour will also extend to a selection of cities across the US later in the year.
Fans can find out more details about The Ryder Cup Trophy Tour at: www.rydercup.com