For the first time in 68 years, The Open will leave mainland Great Britain and head to Northern Ireland for the biggest party in golf.
Royal Portrush, one of the world’s great golf courses, will host the game’s oldest Major once more.
And as the clock ticks, the excitement continues to grow.
The land of 1.8million people has provided three Champion Golfers of the Year in Fred Daly, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.
Add in 2010 US Open champion Graeme McDowell and it is clear
that Northern Ireland has a strong affinity with fairways and greens.
McIlroy in particular is likely to capture the public’s imagination. The 29-year-old has been a part of four successful Ryder Cup teams, won two PGA Championship titles and,
most famously of all, lifted the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool in 2014.
Yet the man from Hollywood insists that would all pale into insignificance if he can win golf’s oldest Major on home soil.
"I never thought I would play a major in
Northern Ireland. It would be the biggest achievement of my career if I was able to win it,” he said.
"If I could pick one tournament to win this year, it would be Royal Portrush. I would definitely have Augusta on the backburner.
2019 Open is something that’s been on my radar for a long time.
“I never thought I’d be able to play an Open at home. I’m going to be very proud to showcase where I’m from and to play in front of all the people who have
supported me throughout my career. It is going to be really cool.