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Caption: Anne O'Sullivan (centre) with some fellow referees at the 146th Open at Royal Birkdale | R&A
O'Sullivan officiated at Royal Birkdale for the Women's British Open in 2014 for the first time, and has not missed that event since. The Open at Royal Portrush will be her fourth time at the men's Major having been part of the Rules Team at Royal Troon, Royal Birkdale and last year at Carnoustie.
'It's so fantastic to be a part of Major Championships, the experience is just indescribable.'
With past Major Champions such as McIlroy, Johnson, Koepka and Woods potentially requesting a ruling, O'Sullivan does not let the calibre of player get in the way of the job at hand.
'I think the only way to deal with it is to not see the person, and give the ruling as if it was any golfer without focusing on who it is. I've had some funny experiences with well-known players in the past but it is probably better that I don't highlight some of them!' she laughed.
O'Sullivan has travelled worldwide in recent years, South Korea and Singapore included, but has also managed to Chair the ILGU East Leinster Executive and hold the position of Chairman of Rules on the ILGU Board in the interim.
'It's been a hectic few years and a great experience and I would think my own golf has definitely suffered,' she admitted. 'I don't have much time for golf during the summer as when I am home I see my family – my three grandsons, my husband! I have plenty of time in the winter to play my golf which I really enjoy and I have begun playing nine-hole qualifying competitions too which have been a great addition to the game.'
The aforementioned grandsons, of which she has three, are unsurprisingly 'brainwashed' already by their golf-loving Granny. At the age of three, Jonah thinks he is Tiger Woods while, together with his brothers, blankets are laid on the floor of the living room to create bunkers from which to practice their sand saves with their plastic golf clubs.
'Working with The R&A has opened up a world of excitement and you meet so many people, it really is fantastic but I have a huge allegiance to the ILGU because only for them I wouldn't be where I am.'
'I loved my time at the ILGU, I just think the volunteers are fantastic. We had the most fun. We worked hard but I loved going to the events because I always knew that in spite of that there was going to be a bit of craic and we were all working for the same purpose.'
When the dust has settled on The Open's return to the island of Ireland, O'Sullivan will move on to the next event and her schedule for the remainder of the year. The AIG Women's British Open, two European Tour events in the Czech Republic and Germany followed by the Senior Women's Home Internationals at County Sligo stand in the way between her and an enjoyable few months of golf at Castle Golf Club where she is now a member.
'It has been hard work over the years but I love it so it doesn't seem like that. There's a lot of dedication that goes on behind the scenes from everyone involved. With golf there are a lot of long hours and commitment but I still consider myself very lucky to be where I am today.'