Harrington hungry for victory in Ballyliffin
July 03, 2018
Padraig Harrington returns to his homeland with his sights set firmly on winning his national Open for the second time at this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation – the fourth Rolex Series event of the season.
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“I'm here with the sole purpose of trying to win, that's for sure. The nature of the game for me now is to win or nothing. I don't get any enjoyment finishing in the top ten, it is no fun to me. "
The 46 year old, who overcame Bradley Dredge in a play-off to claim victory in the 2007 edition of the event before going to win The Open Championship at Carnoustie later that year, arrives at Ballyliffin Golf Club intent on adding another title to his 15 European Tour wins.
Although this week will mark the Dubliner’s first visit to the county of Donegal, Harrington believes he can continue his enviable record on links golf courses – which includes his Open Championship victories in 2007 and in 2008, the latter at Royal Birkdale.
“Maybe I put myself under too much stress when the gun goes, but outside of that, I've shown that if I can get myself into that position, where I have a chance of winning, I only play better down the stretch, but I struggle sometimes getting to that position."
“I played nine holes today and it is a very traditional links golf course which requires an awful lot of thinking, a lot of strategy on the golf course, which hopefully will play into my hands and gives me a lot of options.”
Shane Lowry, who memorably won his home event as an amateur in 2009 at County Louth, also goes in search of a second European Tour victory on home soil while Paul Dunne – who triumphed for Ireland alongside Gavin Moynihan in this year’s GolfSixes – is another player looking to make the most of home advantage this week.
“This week is like a fifth Major for me," said Dunne. "It comes at a great time of the year as well, and is a couple of weeks before The Open, so it is great to have three links events in a row."
“I love coming home – I love having friends and family around. You can feel the support of people, and I have home comforts too, which are a lot of things but especially the breakfast."