After decades in the making and years in the planning, Golf & # 39; s Open Championship is finally back at Royal Portrush.
The last time it was in Northern Ireland, the English Max Faulkner walked away victoriously.
But the 1951 championship was a very different, rather modest affair, compared to the sporting colossus that the tournament has become.
By the time the drama ends on Sunday, the Dunluce Left have entered with about 215,000 spectators from around the world.
Q & A: The Open at Royal Portrush
How the weather could swing the Open
If walking becomes too much, there are 14 grandstands scattered around the track, the largest of those horseshoes around the last green and can accommodate 4000 people.
Of course, dealing with all those thirsty, hungry, stained hordes takes an enormous effort.
In addition to the 6,000 employees who work here, there are 12,000 voluntary marshals who ensure that everyone knows where they are going and, more importantly, where they absolutely cannot.
The logistics behind setting up 31,000 m² of tentage and installing 42 kilometers of fiber optic cable need not be thought of, let alone a redesign of the track for which two new holes had to be built, a tunnel and the construction from a tunnel. from two miles (3.2 km) from asphalted road.
On a glorious, sunny Sunday, it looks like nothing Northern Ireland has ever seen and in reality that's exactly what it is.
Money can be a vulgar subject, but this Open is expected to yield an economic benefit of around £ 80 million to Northern Ireland, but its legacy will be measured in much more than pounds and pennies.
Game of cones
At a gloriously sunny start to the week, few things would go better than an ice cream and a Portrush store doesn't attract much.
The Morellis have been selling ice cream in this part of the world since 1911 and given that the defending Open champion is also Italian, why not pay a unique tribute and try to lure him inside?
Francesco Molinari is known both for his monotonous delivery and for his sparkling iron game and he has certainly never looked so colorful as in his impressive display in hundreds and thousands.
Brooks Koepka & # 39; s caddy – Portrush man Ricky Elliott – has been in for an ice cream, and the female staff was melted in by the charm and matinee idol look of Australian star Adam Scott.
"Hottie Scottie", as she called him, is good and good, but it is 2018 winner Francesco that they are now playing … and a bit stardust.
Tears before start time
As the old saying goes, you can't be all people all the time and if you're Tiger Woods, there are just too many fans to keep everyone happy.
While his game did not look so good after a few weeks of sitting still, a business Tiger did not linger too long after his practice round.
In all honesty, he did his part of signing flags and caps, but two young autograph hunters who did not get to the front of the line continued to cry in his magical wake.
With the likes of Phil Mickelson and Tommy Fleetwood on the property, their tears soon dried up and both left to add Tiger to their flags before the week was over.