sport news The Open preview: Darren Clarke's hole-by-hole guide to Royal Portrush

The Open preview: Darren Clarke's hole-by-hole guide to Royal Portrush: Former champion and local resident on how to play the stunning links... plus his ones to watch and where to get the best pint Royal Portrush is hosting The Open for the first time since 1951  Darren Clarke, a local hero and former champion, knows the course inside out  Clarke, who lifted the Claret Jug in 2011, offers his hole-by-hole guide 

By Darren Clarke

Published: 06:39 BST, 16 July 2019 | Updated: 06:39 BST, 16 July 2019

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While many in The Open field are getting their first look at Royal Portrush this week, local resident and former champion Darren Clarke has played it thousands of times.

There’s hardly a player with designs on winning who hasn’t consulted him at some point. 

Now, in an exclusive for Sportsmail, he provides a fascinating insight into the challenge presented by all 18 holes.

Clarke has also given us his contenders, dark horses and the best place to get a pint in Portrush. 

Clarke’s top three contenders

I know he’s got to deal with the pressure of being the defending champion but I just think Portrush is perfect for his straight hitting. It’s a course for strategists, not bombers, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the gutsy Italian keeping his arms wrapped tightly around that precious Claret Jug.

Another who should relish the premium that Portrush places on smart

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