Three-time Major Champion Padraig Harrington is determined to enjoy his return to Cork venue Fota Island 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 when the tournament was previously held at Fota.
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
“It’s obviously been a happy hunting ground for me over the years,” said Harrington.
“I do like the venue. I like the atmosphere the venue gives off. It’s an ideal place for professional golf when you have got a hotel on site, and you have got a beautiful golf course, and you’ve got a fantastic setting and good practice facilities. There’s not much more the players could ask for than you’ve got here.”
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.
“I’m not under as much pressure as the other lads who haven’t got one,” he said.
“It is important to win your National Open at some stage.”