The 148th Open Championship won’t be an experience that Royal Portrush professional Gary McNeill forgets any time soon after he stepped in to play as a marker on Saturday and Sunday.
McNeill competed alongside Paul Waring on Saturday and Ashton Turner on Sunday and managed to break 80 on both days, not that anyone was counting.
“It has been incredible, I have really enjoyed it,” said the 49-year-old.
“It’s obviously a 50/50 shot. It might be an odd or even number of players who make the cut.
“It has been a dream week. To see the tournament come together and everything go so well and to play yesterday and today has been brilliant.”
Gary has been the professional at Royal Portrush for over 20 years and like every golfer dreamed of one day playing in The Open. He doesn’t play competitive golf very regularly and had little time to get ‘game’ ready before playing at the weekend, bar hitting a few shots on the range.
With that in mind, he still managed to play some steady golf while enjoying the cheers that greeted him onto every green and every tee box.
“The course looks brilliant and the grandstands, even today when it is not that nice, are filled with people as well,” he said.
“There is a real feel-good factor about this tournament. It is wonderful
“68 years was a long time for it to come back and I am sure the R&A will be looking to bring it back here again before too long.”