“Oh, I’ve missed you!” Rory McIlroy’s comments after being handed the Claret Jug at a corporate outing earlier this week at Royal Portrush.
McIlroy got a full 18-hole look at next year’s Open Championship venue where golf’s oldest Major is returning for a first occasion since 1951.
And it was McIlroy’s first hit-out on the famed Co. Antrim course since hosting the 2015 Irish Open where he had missed the halfway cut.
McIlroy joined winners of a joint TaylorMade and Golf Now promotion with the R&A, as organisers of The Open, also present working on promotion for next year’s sell-out 148th staging of golf’s oldest Major.
There to greet McIlroy on the fifth hole where the course overlooks the Irish Sea was the third Major Championship trophy he won in capturing the Claret Jug as winner of the 2014 Open at Royal Liverpool.
Two holes further on McIlroy a got a look at the new par-5 seventh hole and eventually the revamped 17th and 18th holes ahead of 2019 Open starting on 18th July, 2019.
McIlroy is due next to return to full-time competition at the October 25th commencing WGC – HSBC Championship in Shanghai.