Royal Portrush diary: Jon Rahm lookalike takes advantage of locals

Sportsmail's IAN LADYMAN was at Royal Portrush on Thursday and has provided six pieces of insight after round one of the 2019 Open
Championship.
 
Rory's rough 'n' tumble
Rory McIlroy
had a miserable day but memories of better moments are not hard to find.
Down on the seafront stand three washing machines, with visitors encouraged to try to repeat McIlroy's televised chip into a tumble dryer at age nine.
 
Barney keeps an eye on sky
Sky's excellent golf anchor Sarah Stirk was in position on the first tee at 6.30am to kick off coverage alongside analysts Paul McGinley and Rich Beem.
Keeping a close eye on proceedings at one of Sky's showpiece events was chief executive Barney Francis, who walked the first holes with the opening group.
 
Niall's new direction
Younger viewers will have spotted a familiar face at Portrush, that of One Direction star Niall Horan.
A keen golfer, the 25-year-old Irishman now has a stake in sports management agency Modest! They look after Tyrrell Hatton and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
 
Winds of change
The role of the wind on a links course was perfectly summed up by Darren Clarke's clubbing on the par-three 3rd and 6th holes.
According to his caddie, Clarke hit the ball exactly 186 yards each time. The first with a nine iron, the second with a four iron.
 
Allis regrets 'silly' night in '51
There are only two living veterans of the last Open to be played here in 1951 and one of them is BBC commentator Peter Allis.
Now 88, Allis remembers with regret his poor performance here 68 years ago.
'My brother and I went down to the town the night before and met a couple of girls,' he said. 'If you are going to play properly, you can't do silly things.' 
 
Beware a Ballymena Rahm
Locals in Portrush have been happy to buy Jon Rahm a few pints this week following his recent win in the Irish Open.
Rahm, though, is billeted up the coast at Portstewart and the chap drinking all the beer here has been a rather convincing lookalike from Ballymena. 
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