When the serious action begins, Northern Ireland’s Darren Clarke will hit the opening tee shot at 06:35 BST on Thursday.Despite the early start, the grandstands around the first tee are certain to be packed in order to watch the 2011 Open champion and local favourite tee off.Clarke was brought up further inland at Dungannon but has a house next to the course and said it was an “honour” to be asked by the R&A to begin proceedings.It has been a long wait for Portrush to host its second Open, and much has changed in that time, including the creation of two new holes – the seventh and eighth.Flamboyant Englishman Max Faulkner was awarded £300 and the Claret Jug the last time it was held at Portrush, which is just a few miles down the coast from the Giant’s Causeway.While the famous trophy remains, this year’s winner will receive a cheque for £1.56m and the R&A predicts the tournament will deliver an £80m boost to the local economy.Rory McIlroy has won four majors already so has experienced the emotion of winning the game’s biggest prizes – but he admits lifting the Claret Jug on home soil on Sunday could see him “burst out crying”.The Northern Irishman has pedigree at Portrush, setting the course record of 61 as a 16-year-old during the North of Ireland Championship.Fourteen years later and sitting third in the world rankings, McIlroy will hope to embrace the huge home support he will have as he looks to end a five-year wait for a fifth major title.“I want to enjoy it and give these crowds something to cheer for,” said the 2014 champion, who remembers meeting Clarke when he visited the club aged 10.The third Northern Irish major champion in the field is Graeme McDowell, who was born and raised in the town but who says his family could not afford memberships at Royal Portrush when he was growing up, so instead they joined the Rathmore club that plays on Royal Portrush’s second course, the Valley.He told the European Tour he remembers sneaking on to play the course as a teenager with brother Gary, who is now part of Royal Portrush’s greenkeeping staff.But the more recognisable McDowell almost did not make it to his home Open, and admits he would have found it hard to be in the town in a different capacity had he not qualified.The 2010 US Open champion did however eventually book his spot in June after a tie for eighth place at the Canadian Open.World number four Justin Rose is the highest-ranked Englishman in the field as he seeks to add to his lone major victory – the 2013 US Open – while Tommy Fleetwood, who has seaside nous given he grew up playing the great links of Southport, says he is expecting Portrush to feel like a “home” venue.Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston made it into the field with one of the week’s feel-good stories, finishing tied fourth at the Scottish Open on Sunday to qualify after a difficult couple of years in which he had dropped to 337th in the rankings.Three key holes to look out forHole 5: White Rocks 382 yards, par 4: The R&A has indicated they are happy to use a forward tee to entice the players to have a crack at the green on this dog-leg. There are two bunkers at 280-290 yards which come into play with the tee shot. The green is perched on the cliff edge and players could go out of bounds just two or three yards over the back.Hole 7: Curran Point – 590 yards, par 5: This is the first of the two new holes and is a very strong par five from an elevated tee into a valley with high dunes along the right side that separate the course from the beach. There is a big bunker on that flank that requires a 300-yard carry. The hazard is a nod to the famous ‘Big Nelly’ bunker that was on the 17th, which has been lost. The second shot is uphill and the landing area narrows as you get nearer a green that has plenty of undulations.Hole 16: Calamity Corner – 236 yards, par 3: This world-famous short hole has been stretched to 236 yards. There is a deep chasm on the right and ‘Bobby Locke’s hollow’ is the only respite. Situated on the front left corner of the green, it is where the South African is played each day in the 1951 Open. This is a difficult elevated green, with the wind likely to affect putting.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Northern Ireland’s rugged and spectacular north-east coastline will come alive with excitement and expectation today when the Open Championship returns to Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951.The County Antrim club will host the 148th staging of the game’s oldest major, 68 years after it held the only other Open to be played outside of England and Scotland.Some 237,750 fans are expected at the Dunluce course during the week, with tickets selling out for both tournament and practice days.
MansionBet adds Bristol City to sponsorship portfolio August 20, 2020 StumbleUpon Gibraltar-based sports betting group MansionBet has moved to significantly expand its brand profile across UK racing in 2019, agreeing on an extensive partnership with Arena Racing Company (ARC) and Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR).Updating the market, MansionBet marketing will take sponsorship of 38 ARC/JCR syndicated fixtures within the remaining schedule of 2018 and throughout 2019.MansionBet begins its sponsorship coverage with this Friday 7 December meeting at Sedgefield Racecourse (Durham).Further fixtures inbound for 2019 include Ffos Las, Hereford, Southwell, Great Yarmouth and Worcester. In addition, MansionBet race-days will feature across JCR East Region racecourses, Nottingham, Huntingdon and Market Rasen.The sports betting operator will also take the title sponsorship of Newbury’s Spring Cup, which will be broadcast live on ITV1 in 2019 and is part of Dubai Duty-Free Spring Trials weekend.Karel Manasco, CEO of Mansion Group, commented, “We are excited to expand our horseracing sponsorship with further 38 events across the UK. We recognise horseracing as one of our most popular sports, and we look forward to supporting this through our sponsorships.”Throughout 2018, MansionBet has supported its product relaunch, focusing on increasing brand awareness by significantly amplifying its sponsorship portfolio, which includes partnerships with AFC Bournemouth and sponsorship of UK Matchroom Boxing events. Backing MansionBet as a sponsorship partner, David Leyden Dunbar, Group Director of Partnerships at ARC said, “We are delighted to welcome MansionBet to ARC racecourses with 16 fixtures across the end of 2018 and into 2019. We know that British racing offers fantastic value to sponsors, including those within the gambling sector, and we look forward to working with the MansionBet team to help build their brand within the sport.” Spotlight Sports takes over MansionBet blog June 18, 2020 Share Submit ITV secures three-year British racing broadcast deal August 5, 2020 Share Related Articles
Brazilian legend Ronaldinho has had his contract at Fluminense terminated by mutual consent.Ronaldinho, who only joined the Rio de Janeiro club in July, struggled to make an impact in Serie A – leading to a portion of his own fans booing him in August.”Fluminense hereby announces the breaking of their contract with Ronaldinho Gaucho in an amicable form and in mutual agreement between both parties,” the club’s official statement read.”Since first contact with directors, the athlete and his representatives treated the club with professionalism and respect.”Fluminense and Ronaldinho will maintain their ties and plan to work on other projects in the future.Although the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year failed to score in nine games, Fluminense still thanked him for his short stint, focusing on his ability to spark an economic boost. “It should be noted that the deal met marketing expectations, increasing ticket sales, the number of shirts sold and commercial partners.”The Ronaldinho deal also showed that Fluminense can arouse the interest of the greatest players in world football.”Ronaldinho was linked with a host of clubs before his return to Brazil in the summer, with interest still expected to be high for the 35-year-old following his departure from Fluminense.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports