An Irish farmer alongside his cows has gone viral after snagging front row seats to the Irish Open this past weekend.
The annual Irish Open golfing tournament teed off on 24 September 2020 in Galgorm Castle Golf Club in County Antrim.
Taking place over for four days, the sporting event attracts up to 100,000 ticketholders each year and millions more who tune in from around the world.
Like most industries though, the sport of golf has been impacted by the global pandemic, with guest attendance to the 2020 Irish Open being cut from the programme and ticket refunds issued in August.
For one lucky local, however, front row seats came free of charge – for him and his herd of cows.
Front row seats
With a deck chair and flask of tea in tow, cameras spotted County Antrim local Billy O’Kane, flanked by his herd of cows, snagging uninterrupted views of the tournament from his nearby field.
Enjoying the only VIP, up-close-and-personal experience with some of the world’s best golfers, Billy’s presence was undoubtedly a standout. Especially given that the Irish Open was played without spectators, and hence eerily quiet this year.
“The sun was shining, and I really enjoyed it.”
On speaking with the BBC, O’Kane admitted, “I really decided to go and check the cows, and I knew there wasn’t many people that could go and watch the golf and I could watch it across the river.”
“I took a deck chair and a flask of tea with me and sat down and watched five or six groups. The sun was shining, and I really enjoyed it. They’re really good players, much better than me!”
On hearing of his newfound social media status, O’Kane commented, “My phone hasn’t been working very well yesterday, and also people of my age aren’t particularly good on social media, but my children tell me there’s been quite a lot [of viral coverage].”
The Irish Open
The Irish Open (or The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open to be sponsor-specific) is an annual professional golfing tournament that takes place in Ireland.
The first tournament was in Dublin in 1927, and the Irish Open continues to take place annually in various locations around the Emerald Isle with grand prize funds.
Considered to be one of the leading events on the Professional Golfing Association (PGA) European Tour, the Irish Open showcases some of the finest athletes in the game of golf making it one of the most coveted sporting events in Ireland.
On the last day of the Irish Open 2020, American golfer, John Catlin strived to the finish line in first place, snagging the impressive prize fund and trophy. Billy O’Kane and his cows were present to witness the triumph.
Watch the amazing footage below: