Open atmosphere in Portrush will be incredible – Harrington

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& # 39; The entire community will participate & # 39; – Harrington is looking forward to the Irish Open

Three-time winner Padraig Harrington says players will "experience something they have never experienced at an Open Championship" at Royal Portrush.

The Open returned to the north coast of the Antrim for the first time in 68 years between 18 and 21 July.

"I just know the atmosphere will be unparalleled," said two-time Open winner Harrington.

"Hosting a great event means that it will come back in the future."

The Dubliner won his first major at Carnoustie in 2007 before being spectacularly the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale a years later.

Great victories for Graeme McDowell in Northern Ireland, Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke in the years that followed, argue that the tournament be organized for the second time outside of England or Scotland.

"It's surprising because when we just started talking about it after I won my first major it was just talking at that stage," recalled the 2020 Ryder Cup captain and 2008 American PGA champion.

"Behind the scenes it started to build and it is unbelievable that we are actually here."

Harrington won the Open for the first time in Carnoustie in 2007

Tickets for the event were sold in record time, with 43,750 spectators expected to descend on the Dunluce links on each of the four championship days.

"It was incredible when it was announced and now we are just two weeks away from the actual happening, it's phenomenal," Harrington said.

"I know it's going to be a great event."

Before heading north, Harrington is part of an impressive field at the Irish Open.

Clarke, McDowell and Shane Lowry are among the other local interests in Lahinch, with major winners Danny Willett and Martin Kaymer also present.

In addition to the English duo Tyrrell Hatton and Ian Poulter, Harrington will turn off at 13:10 BST on Thursday.

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