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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Picture perfect Portrush and leaderboard latest - Clarke tees off 148th Open Championship

Royal Portrush plays host to the Open Championship for the first time in 68 years, with Darren Clarke teeing off the action earlier.

Northern Irishman Darren Clarke.
Northern Irishman Darren Clarke.
Image: Francois Nel

DARREN CLARKE HIT the opening tee shot of the 148th Open Championship at Royal Portrush on Thursday, with the world’s best golfers set to battle it out for the Claret Jug.

You can keep up to date with the leaderboard here.

The sport’s oldest major is returning to the course for the first time in 68 years and the Northern Irishman was given the honour of getting the tournament underway in his home nation.

Clarke, the 2011 Champion Golfer of the Year, carded a birdie on the par-four first, while playing partners Charley Hoffman and amateur James Sugrue made pars.

He’s now on hole 10, and two under par, with Irish duo James Surgue and Shane Lowry up the top of the leaderboard on early doors.

Home hope Rory McIlroy goes out at 10.09am local time (9:09 GMT), with reigning champion Francesco Molinari in the group before him.

Tiger Woods will have a score to aim at by the time he tees it up at 3.10pm local time (14:10 GMT), with Patrick Reed and Matt Wallace alongside him.

Having won four of the past 10 majors, Brooks Koepka – off at 1.04pm local time (12:04 GMT) – will certainly be one to watch on a day when rain is forecast at various stages.

The Open Championship 2019 - Day One - Royal Portrush Golf Club McDowell tees The Open off this morning. Source: David Davies

British Open Golf Clarke acknowledges the crowd. Source: Matt Dunham

The Open Championship 2019 - Day One - Royal Portrush Golf Club USA fans. Source: Niall Carson

The Open Championship 2019 - Day One - Royal Portrush Golf Club Shane Lowry. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

The Open Championship 2019 - Day One - Royal Portrush Golf Club Golfers on the 5th green and 6th tee during day one. Source: David Davies

The Open Championship 2019 - Day One - Royal Portrush Golf Club Clarke at Portrush. Source: Richard Sellers

The Open Championship 2019 - Day One - Royal Portrush Golf Club Padraig Harrington. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

The Open Championship 2019 - Day One - Royal Portrush Golf Club A rainbow appears over Portrush. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

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