Los Angeles Times

British Open returns 68 years later to a changed Northern Ireland

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland - For Rory McIlroy, it's still so surreal.

The golf world has descended on Royal Portrush, a seaside course that played such a prominent role in his childhood, and this beautiful but beleaguered land - which still bears the scars of domestic terrorism and sectarian strife - is playing host to the British Open for the first time in 68 years.

"Portrush has been a very big, at least the golf club, has been a big part of my upbringing," McIlroy said Wednesday. "It's sort of

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