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G-Mac says Irish Open buzzing like a major

2012 U.S. Open runner-up Graeme McDowell says he feels like the sellout Irish Open, his next scheduled tournament, is already buzzing just like a major championship.

Due to take place on Thursday, the European Tour event to be held at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland is expected to be attended by 100,000 people - sold out for all four days.

This has been no doubt helped by the appearance of major-winning hometown boys McDowell, Rory McIlory and Darren Clarke, plus Ireland's three-time major champion Padraig Harrington.

"When these crowds come in over the next few days it's going to feel like a major championship," McDowell said.

"The golf course will certainly be major championship standard and there's no doubt there will be a little bit of added expectation from the fans looking to see the Irish boys play well," added the 2010 U.S. Open winner.

"Royal Portrush is a golf club with a huge amount of history, given the British Open was staged here in 1951. But in the modern era this is one of the proudest moments for this golf club, for the area and for Northern Ireland.

"It's a huge thrill to see such a great field assembled and everyone is buzzing and excited."

Royal Portrush will host the Irish Open for the first time since 1947, so it will be an occasion of huge pride for the organisers, fans and players alike.

"To be one of the three or four guys who helped make this happen through our major successes also gives me a huge sense of pride - it's great to have played a part and it's kind of a dream come true," added McDowell.

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