Harrington has sights on Portrush

Pádraig Harrington admits an Irish Open success at Royal Portrush this year would be ‘very special’.

Harrington claimed the title at Adare Manor in 2007 but would relish landing another crown at the famed Antrim venue.

Harrington believes the 6,843-yard, par-72 course is the ideal venue to host the 57th edition of the historic event scheduled for June 28 to July 1.

He said: “It’s a very fair test of golf — if you hit good shots you’ll be rewarded with birdies, but hit bad ones and you’ll run up bogeys or double bogeys. You always feel like you can make a score round there, but it’s not as easy as you think, so you’ve just got to try to be fearless

“I came close to winning the North of Ireland Amateur Open a fair few times but never quite managed it, so to win the first Irish Open to be held in Northern Ireland in my lifetime would be very special. But with the quality of the field, winning won’t be easy.

“The Irish Open is in the middle of a really big run of events, with the BMW International Open the week before and the French Open the week after. I’m expecting a very strong turnout from the European players, especially with the [British] Open being played three weeks later. The opportunity to test yourself on a links golf course in the run-up to [that] is a definite advantage.”


Frits Potgieter is General Manager with Muckross Park Hotel and Spa.You've Been Served: Frits Potgieter, Muckross Park Hotel and Spa

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