Many congratulations to Darren Clarke for the Irish Open because nobody promoted the event with more enthusiasm and pride than the big man.
Record, sell-out crowds survived strong winds and storms throughout the four days to make it the most successful ever staged in European Tour history.
Now the game’s rulers will have to look very closely at staging the Open there in the future. And I’m sure the R & A were looking very closely at how well Royal Portrush coped with the avalanche of interest.
The answer can only be very positive because I am sure they were suitably impressed. Surely they will look at it very seriously as an Open venue within the next decade.
Darren played all four days on his home track and that will have given him a confidence boost going into the defence of the silver claret jug. The main thing, however, was that he will have come out of it with a huge amount of personal satisfaction and pride that something he had dreamed of all his career actually came to fruition.
Congratulations also to Scott Pinckney who impressed everybody at West Lancashire in qualifying for the Open in two weeks.
The 23-year-old American birdied the first hole of a play-off and will now line up at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. Scott, who qualified for the 2011 US Open as an amateur, forced his way into the play-off courtesy of a course record eight-under par 64 in the second round.