After an opening 63 and Lahinch course record, Padraig Harrington spoke at length to reporters at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
From Phillip Reid’s Irish Times game story on what could be, with more stellar play, one of the more fan-friendly wins in a long time:
Links golf is in his DNA and Harrington showcased it with a round that brought back old glories, but aware that it was only one step in the right direction on a journey that doesn’t reach its destination until Sunday. But playing on links again has reinvigorated him. “I know how to work my way around this golf course, links courses, clubbing and things like that, picking the right shot at the right time, what to go for, where to play shots. You know, that’s how you get around. That’s my specialty.
“I just was keen to not waste these three weeks (Irish, Scottish and British Opens) and be thinking, ‘oh, well, I always have next year’. I was kind of thinking, ‘well, maybe I don’t, maybe the Ryder Cup will be in the way next year’. That’s part of it. I’ve said I feel I’ll play this year and have a bit of time out next year (with the captaincy), but I’d better go play.”
If there is any doubt about his popularity in Ireland, Harrington had an audience everywhere he went. Well, almost everywhere.