Much has happened to Padraig Harrington (pictured by Getty Images) in the 12 years since he recorded back-to-back top ten finishes in the Irish Open at Fota Island Resort, and the three-time Major Champion is determined to enjoy his return to the Cork venue this week.
Harrington, who will play alongside Rory McIlroy and Stephen Gallacher in the opening two rounds, finished tied second and tied sixth in 2001 and 2002 respectively, having previously won an Irish Amateur Open at Fota Island Resort in 1995.
The 43 year old memorably added his national Open title in the professional ranks in 2007 and went on to win three Major Championships in the following 18 months, heralding a glorious period in Irish golfing history. He now returns to Fota Island looking to provide yet another chapter in a remarkable career, at a venue where he admits he has many happy memories.
Harrington concedes that having an Irish Open title already under his belt takes some of the pressure off his shoulder this week, and enables him to enjoy the unique focus that naturally falls on him and the other Irish players.
Having won two Claret Jugs so far in his career, Harrington also welcomed The R&A’s announcement on Monday that Royal Portrush has been added to the rota of Open Championship venues.
Source: European Tour