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PHOTO: The Claret Jug - image by Golffile.
A big week for golf on the island of Ireland, The Open gives us a chance to arrange meetings with commercial partners, current and prospective, to meet with members of the media and to network with counterparts from around the world.
With James Sugrue – our Amateur Champion included in the field, we will bring you exclusive content throughout the week.
SUNDAY / MONDAY
Bags packed and off to bed at 9.30pm. Alarms set for an array of times before 4am.
I wake up at 1am and cannot get back to sleep, so decide to jump in the car earlier than planned and make the 300km journey in the dead of night.
Loaded up on coffee, the night is foggy but the roads are quiet. It's 2.30am.
I arrive in the white car park at 5.50am, perched on a hilltop to the south-east of the links. I'm early. Very early.
Only two slightly bemused Japanese journalists have arrived before me and they are in good form after their journey from Belfast.
It's just a five minute drive when the bus picks us up at 6.30am.
We approach from the Portballintrae/Bushmills side. Those familiar with the road will know that the view of the course just opens up once you join the coast road.
The bus, now filled with overseas journalists and myself, is awash with 'oohs and ahs' as the majestic view of Royal Portrush fills our windows.
I've been in Portrush many times for the North, the Home Internationals and meetings, but today was the first time the hairs stood up on the back of my neck as the reality and scale of the event hit me.
Better scribes than I will articulate the beauty of the place this week, so I'm going to say no more except that it is breath-taking.
After a quick registration at the Media Centre where I double check what's allowed and more importantly not allowed, it's off to the first tee to see Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson tee off shortly after 8am. It's some three-ball to start the week with.
My day is pretty planned. I'm going to catch up with The Amateur Champion James Sugrue before he tees off in his practice round. Then I'm meeting with Tourism Northern Ireland before heading along to James' press conference in the afternoon.
If I'm still awake, the plan is to post some videos this evening and to produce a podcast for Tuesday morning.
First, more coffee.