Padraig Harrington 'looking forward' to making Lahinch return for Irish Open

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Email:

ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Padraig Harrington 'looking forward' to making Lahinch return for Irish Open

Padraig Harrington on his way to winning the 2007 Irish Open at Adare Manor

THREE-TIME Major champion Padraig Harrington will return to Lahinch Golf Club for this July’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, with the 2020 Ryder Cup Captain set to make his first appearance on the famous County Clare links since winning there as an amateur in 1995.

Harrington, who has been out of action since November due to injury, will join a strong field for this year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open – the second of eight Rolex Series events on the European Tour’s 2019 Race to Dubai, which is hosted by his old friend Paul McGinley and takes place from July 4-7.

Among those who have already confirmed their participation for the 2019 edition of the historic event are 2017 Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, Irish hero Shane Lowry, former World Number One Lee Westwood and 2016 Masters Tournament winner Danny Willett.

Lahinch Golf Club has a remarkable history of amateur winners, with Major champions Darren Clarke, Harrington and Graeme McDowell – as well as host McGinley - having all won there in the early years of their careers.

Of that star-studded list, Harrington is the only one to have claimed the Irish Amateur Close Championship on the Old Course, with the other three having triumphed in the South of Ireland Championship – an event which Lahinch has hosted since its inception in 1895.

The 15-time European Tour winner returns to action this week in Malaysia following a wrist injury but he has already got one eye on and the summer and his national Open, which he famously won in 2007 before going on to claim a maiden Major Championship at The Open Championship two months later.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Lahinch for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open,” said Harrington.

“It’s one of the great Irish links courses and I think it was an excellent decision by Paul McGinley, the European Tour and Dubai Duty Free to take the tournament down there this year.

“The last time I played there I won the Irish Amateur back in 1995, shortly before I entered the professional ranks.

“I’m sure the venue will help generate a fantastic festival atmosphere with the golf course situated in the heart of the village.”

The 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open provided one of the most dramatic finales in the tournament’s 91-year history, as Russell Knox holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to clinch a place in a play-off alongside New Zealander Ryan Fox.

The Scot then sank an almost identical putt on the first play-off hole to seal his maiden Rolex Series title and send the huge Irish crowds into raptures.

With blazing sunshine and a star-studded field including the 2017 champion Jon Rahm, a total of 94,239 people attended the event at Ballyliffin Golf Club.

Tickets for the 2019 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open are on sale at www.dubaidutyfreeirishopen.com and begin at €23 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with single tickets for Thursday or Friday costing €30 and day tickets for each weekend day costing €35 each. An adult season ticket, which covers five days of world-class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, begins at a special price of just €110.

Children under 12 years of age are entitled to free entry when accompanied by an adult, day junior tickets for those between 12 and 17 years of age are €10 (€30 for a season ticket) while those aged between 18 and 21, as well as students with valid student cards and over 60s, can avail of a concession ticket - €20 for a day (€80 for a season).