3 Irish Open underway in Killarney

 3 Irish Open underway in Killarney

The 3 Irish Open Golf Championship is underway in Killarney, Co, Kerry today.

Up to 8,000 people are expected to attend today and tomorrow, with crowds of up to 15,000 expected on Saturday and Sunday.

Motorists are being advised that The Ring of Kerry Road - the N72 - will remain open to normal traffic during the event.

Nine car parks will be open in the area and a free shuttle-bus service will operate to the venue.

Graeme McDowell plays with Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy with Darren Clarke in the first two rounds today and tomorrow and for all of them it is more than just a warm-up for next week’s world championship in Akron and then the US PGA that follows.

“As an Irish player this is definitely our unofficial fifth major,” said McDowell.

Not surprisingly, he would love to see the event go north of the border. The last time was 1953 at Belvoir Park in Belfast.

“Obviously there’s a lot of different factors in that. Sponsorship is a huge part. There’s plenty of courses that would make a phenomenal venue and when you look at the way Irish golf is right now with the strength both sides of the border there’s no reason why the Irish Open couldn’t go up there.

“I would be a big supporter of it. I’ve always dreamed of playing a professional event at Portrush or a County Down or something like that. I think it would be great.”

Royal Portrush hosted The Open in 1951 and the club have declared their wish to have it again, although the Royal and Ancient Club’s current stance is that spectator numbers would be a problem on the course and off it.

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