ROYAL PORTRUSH is using a secret 65-yard underground tunnel for players so they can escape fan logjam at the Open.
Superstars competing for the Claret Jug will become invisible to those watching in Northern Ireland when they disappear in darkness on the walk from the 10th green to the 11th tee.
That area of the links course is a real bottleneck and could create chaos if players are made to force their way through the massive crowds.
Tickets for all four days of this year’s Open sold out last August – 11 months before the tournament begins.
Around 250,000 golf nuts will traipse over the course that bookies’ favourite Rory McIlroy shot 61 on when he was 16.
And this area of the course would prove congestion central without the tunnel.
The 434 yard par 4 eighth green sits just 40 yards away from the 10th putting surface while the par 3 sixth green is nearby too.
Fan movement will be in inevitable while some players are over their shots but the emphasis must be on keeping play moving.
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And that is why the man-made tunnel has been brought in.
It also helps players get from the eighth green to the ninth tee.
The tunnel took a year to build and fan congestion at the 2012 Irish Open held at Portrush convinced organisers it needed to be made.