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Eight lucky golfers to play Royal Portrush a week before The Open

The Open Championship is set to attract over 200,000 spectators to Royal Portrush.
The Open Championship is set to attract over 200,000 spectators to Royal Portrush.
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

Four pairs of golfers from Ireland will get the opportunity of a lifetime to play Royal Portrush a week before the pros get to grips with it.

Thanks to the R&A's 9 Hole Challenge, eight Irish golfers will qualify for the final of the tournament, which will take place on Saturday 13 July, a week before The Open Championship.

That means those who get through will take on the famed Dunluce Links as it will be prepared for the first Major tournament on these shores since 1951.

And yes, that does include hitting into the 18th green which will be flanked by those massive grandstands!

In order to qualify, players must win a local qualifying event at a participating club, which will then qualify them for one of four regional finals - the winners of which will go on to play at Royal Portrush.

Depending on individual participating courses, the event will either be run as a pairs event or individual men's and women's events with the winners forming a pair for the final.

The four regional finals winners will be put up in a hotel in Portrush on Friday 12 July and there will be a dinner in the Royal Portrush clubhouse on the Friday night for the winners.

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The final will see 21 pairs from across the UK and Australia come together and compete for the trophy in a nine-hole stableford competition on the first two and last seven holes at the Dunluce Links.

A full list of participating clubs and qualifying events can be found on the website.

Might you be the lucky pair who get to compete? Why not try and find out!

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