As the Irish Open returns to Northern Ireland for the first time in nearly 60 years, BBC NI will be there to bring golf fans coverage of this event across TV, radio and online.
Each night during the tournament, Stephen Watson will present a 60 minute highlights programme after the Ten O’Clock News which will be packed full of that day’s action from the Royal Portrush Course. Last year’s title holder, Simon Dyson will face some tough competition this year as the tournament will be attended by ten Major winners including our local champions, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell.
Stephen Watson said: “I have been very fortunate to cover many of golf’s major tournaments around the world, but to be fronting BBC NI’s coverage of such a large event right on our doorstep is something extremely special. After making three unique documentaries with Darren, Graeme and Rory after their Major successes over the past two years, it’s fantastic that we can show you all the action from the Irish Open on BBC One NI plus bring you a week of live coverage from the North Coast on BBC Newsline.”
BBC Sport NI will also have coverage of the event on BBC Radio Ulster on Saturday, June 30 with a special Summer Club programme from 3pm presented by Joel Taggart and Michael McNamee. Joel will be in Portrush and will have all the latest from the tournament, as well as interviews and live chat with a range of guests. On the final day, Joel will be live again on BBC Radio Ulster in a Sportsound Special from 5.30pm on BBC Radio Ulster MW where listeners will find out who is this year’s Irish Open winner. BBC Sport NI’s Grant Cameron will also be in Portrush for the tournament bringing hourly updates on all the action and the leader board on BBC Radio Ulster.
Joel Taggart said: “It’s great to have our top players in action at a European Tour event in Northern Ireland, especially given the great success of Darren Clarke, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and also Michael Hoey. The Summer Club will bring you all the excitement of Saturday afternoon’s action as well as a bit of fun thrown in and on Sunday we’ll be hopefully bringing you the news of another win for one of our Fab Four.”
As part of the build up to the Irish Open, BBC Radio Ulster’s Alan Simpson will be bringing his programme live from the Royal Portrush Golf course on Wednesday, June 27 from 3pm. As the players and spectators warm up for the much anticipated sporting spectacular, Alan’s show will come live from the course on the eve of competitive play. As Alan’s beloved Portrush gears up for one of the largest events in Northern Ireland in years, the unofficial North Coast ambassador will be on course to capture the excitement and as the finishing touches are put in place. Alan will reflect the buzz on and off the course as the global superstars of the game mix with the public.
Alan said: “It’s not all about bunkers and greens as I will be chatting to the names behind the event and finding out the answers to some of the questions on everyone’s lips including, how many bottles of bubbly are on ice, how many Rory wigs are expected, should we bring an umbrella and where are the best parties likely to be? Tune in for your essential behind the scenes glimpse of what promises to be a spectacular event.”
BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster will also be live from the Royal Portrush on the morning of Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29. Conor Bradford and Mark Carruthers will be up at the course catching up on the early morning activity and looking forward to that day’s golfing action from 6.30am and there will be extensive coverage of the tournament on BBC Radio Ulster news and current affairs programmes, BBC Newsline and bbc.co.uk/sportni
BBC Radio Ulster listeners can also listen to a one off documentary called Polishing Up the Port on Sunday, June 24 at 1.30pm which follows Alan Dein as he examines how the town is putting its best foot forward with a major tidy up.