After a journalist was murdered last week and “the Troubles” seem to be at it again, Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch reminds us that The Open’s triumphant return to Royal Portrush will not be far from recent troubles or a tonic for the decades of conflict.
The Open Championship is a spoil, of sorts. Just as the Claret Jug will be held aloft by the champion golfer of the year, the Open itself will be brandished as a symbol of normalcy and progress by the very politicians whose stone-age squabbles have left Northern Ireland without a functioning government for years, whose intransigence and bigotry sent generations of Lyra McKees fleeing for airports and ferry terminals.
Self-congratulatory back-slapping by elected blowhards is so familiar a part of professional golf that it won’t really register with those who travel to Portrush. But it will be a galling spectacle for the people who must continue to live with increasing tribal tensions, sporadic violence and diminishing opportunities long after the Open caravan leaves town.