Lahinch GC, Lahinch, Co. Clare, Ireland 04 Jul 2019 - 07 Jul 2019
Wednesday, 03 July 2019
Padraig Harrington  (Getty Images)
Padraig Harrington (Getty Images)

Padraig Harrington is relishing the unique challenge of Lahinch Golf Club as he prepares to tee it up in the Rolex Series at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

The home favourite is renowned as a links player, having won two Open Championships and two Alfred Dunhill Links Championships in his remarkable career.

The layout in County Clare presents a rare challenge, with numerous blind shots including a blind par three at the fifth, a hole Harrington describes as "the most significant one of its kind".

While some of the field may find that unusual, the 2020 Ryder Cup captain has seen it all before, and he is relishing the mental challenge of traditional links golf.

"It's part of the character and it's very much part of the beauty of Lahinch," he said. "It's fun but it's only an eight iron. It's not like anyone is asking you to hit a two iron out of bounds over the back, it's not a crazy shot or anything like that.

"I was brought up that way when it came to links golf. Traditional links golf is meant to have a little bit of it, it's meant to be a bit of a mental test.

"Golf was never designed to be a fair game. It was designed to test your physical and mental ability and that mental ability is being able to handle good and bad breaks.

"Traditional links golf does throw in blind shots and things like that. You'll get some good breaks and you'll get some bad ones and the mental fortitude is tested far more on a links golf course than it is on a perfectly ordered parkland course."

McGinley would one day like to follow in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy and Paul McGinley and host the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, and he believes Ireland has a unique appeal in the world of golf.

The mental fortitude is tested far more on a links golf course - Padraig Harrington

"It's all about the venue, it really is," he said. "The Irish Open has to have that offering for the players that's not like anywhere else.

"You're not just coming here to look at the scenery. You're coming here to get a sense of the people, the country, and that's the same when it comes to a golf tournament. It's all about the venue.

"The players want to come to somewhere different, somewhere unique, somewhere they can enjoy.

"The players, they're always fascinated with coming to Ireland. Sometimes fascinated with how we live in the weather. Now they're looking at the sunshine and it's just so different. Our country is so different. So it's all about the venue."

A Rolex Series Event

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Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1RAHM, JonESP18-16
T4ROCK, RobertENG18-13

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