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Royal Portrush looking 'fantastic' ahead of Open Championship: Jennings

Pat Jennings
Pat Jennings

Pat Jennings loves his golf. Once a six handicapper, at 74 years of age he remains a handy player. The NI sporting legend will tell you there’s never a bad day on the golf course.

He adds that he had a very good one a fortnight ago at Royal Portrush. Having played the wonderful links course he is now savouring the prospect of watching the best in the world have a go when The Open takes place on the north coast next month.

Jennings is convinced the final major of the year will prove to be a monumental success in his homeland and is hoping that Irish players such as Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry step up to the mark.

“I played Portrush a couple of weeks ago and it was fantastic,” said the Arsenal and Spurs hero. “I’m really looking forward to going back to watch The Open. It’s unbelievable for the country to host The Open. It’s going to be an incredible event.

“I love it when big events are at our courses, like when the Irish Open was at Royal County Down in Newcastle.

“I’d love to see one of the Irish boys do well. They will get incredible support all week and it would be great if one or a few of them could be contending”

While Jennings is eagerly anticipating seeing the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and co at The Open, he’ll be keeping a special eye on 1995 champion John Daly who he paired up with at Portrush in 2012.

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“I played with big John Daly in the pro-am before the Irish Open,” recalled Jennings, as he recounted a lovely story.

“He didn’t have a clue who I was but after three or four holes of me signing autographs, doing photographs and everyone shouting to me, he said ‘you must be a popular guy’ and by the end of the round he was trying to get me to wear his gear which is very unique.

“I told him you needed to be a good player to be wearing his outfits! I enjoyed playing with him. John was a lovely bloke and a real gentleman.”

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