THE unprecedented success of this year’s Irish Open continued with the news that the second day’s play on Friday, June 29 at Royal Portrush Golf Club is now also a complete sell-out.
Last Thursday, The European Tour announced that Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1 had officially sold out, the Tour, for the first time in its 40 year history, having to close tickets sales for a tournament with the 27,000 limit for each day reached.
But now, with a day to go to the start of the championship proper, tournament organisers have confirmed that Friday is now also in the same situation as expectation surrounding the first staging of the Irish Open in Northern Ireland since 1953 reaches fever pitch.
Spectators without tickets can still pay on the gate to watch Wednesday’s Pro-Am featuring stars from the worlds of showbusiness and sport and the first round play on Thursday, but after that, to gain entry to the action on the world-famous Dunluce Course, spectators need to be in possession of a valid ticket.
Spectators are also reminded that due to the close proximity of the start of the tournament on Thursday, there is no ability now to buy advance tickets from the Tour’s ticket website.
“When we announced, in January, that the Irish Open was coming to Royal Portrush we were told to expect a hugely positive reaction from golfing public but this has exceeded all our expectations and is fantastic news for the tournament. We are well on course for in excess of 100,000 spectators here over the week,” said Championship Director Antonia Beggs.
“We have planned for this and our traffic management is in place, however we remind spectators that it is vitally important to follow the official Automobile Association event signage to and from the tournament rather than rely on ‘SatNav technology’ as the signs will direct spectators to the best available car park at the time.
“We also ask spectators to remember that this is a major sporting occasion and to exercise patience in their journeys to and from the event.”
As outlined last week and since consultation began on the tournament six months ago, public transport will play a huge part in moving spectators in and out of Portrush.
• In addition to normal scheduled services, extra trains will run from Belfast and Derry–Londonderry to Portrush with tickets available to book online or purchase in advance from main train stations.
• Dedicated golf coach services will depart locations across Northern Ireland and are available to book online only. Ulsterbus Tours is also offering both travel and Irish Open ticket packages.
• Golf rail service online ticket bookings will close at 2pm three days prior to travel. However, additional rail tickets will also be available to purchase from selected stations on day of travel.
• Golf coach ticket bookings will close at 5pm on day prior to travel and are only available to purchase online
• Golf coach and train return services are £15 per adult and £7.50 per child. Ulsterbus Tours packages are £40 per person.
For travel information including bus and rail ticket bookings click www.translink.co.uk/irishopen or call the Translink contact centre on 00 44 (0) 28 9066 6630.