The Kildare village of Leixlip turned out in force today to welcome their very own Irish Open Ambassador, Ross Fisher, ahead of the Pro-Am curtain-raiser at Carton House.
The 2010 Irish Open champion was greeted by around 100 enthusiastic local schoolchildren, councilors and the business community of Leixlip – situated just a few miles from Carton House – as he toured the village and took part in a two-hole par three challenge on the banks of the River Liffey.
Fisher was piped up the drive of Leixlip Castle where he met Desmond Guinness, a direct descendent of Arthur Guinness of the famous brewing family.
He then toured the main street of Leixlip, admiring the artwork decorating a number of shop fronts before judging the best display, planning an oak tree and facing young Leixlip club professional, Mark Cribben, is the two hole challenge at Rowantreee Park on a specially constructed ‘course’ along the river bank. For added entertainment, Fisher also tried his hand at the Irish sport of hurling!
Fisher, who was following fellow Ambassadors Richard Finch (Celbridge) and Brett Rumford (Maynooth) by engaging with the local community ahead of the Irish Open, which starts tomorrow, said: “It’s been a pretty cool experience. I didn’t know what to expect but the welcome I’ve received from the locals has been overwhelming.
“It’s certainly been different and it’s a day I will always remember. Seeing all the kids in their colourful pink shirts has been great fun and that’s what it’s all about. I think it’s brilliant that the Tour and County Kildare have got together to try this initiative and I am very proud to be Leixlip’s Ambassador.”
Fisher concluded his near two hour visit by receiving a lesson in the art of pouring a pint of the ‘black stuff’by ‘mine host’ Luke Moriarty at the Court Yard Hotel. The hotel was also selected as the Best Display by Fisher and the owners will receive Hospitality for two people on Saturday, the third day of the Irish Open.
Meanwhile, Rumford picked O’Neill’s Bar as the winner in Maynooth with Walsh’s Pharmacy in Celbridge the choice of Finch. Both businesses also win Hospitality for two on Saturday.