Golfing superstar Padraig Harrington recalled his "oddball" college days when he was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship by the Dublin Business School at the RDS yesterday.

Just two days after turning over Tiger Woods to win the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in Japan, the millionaire Dubliner joked about his years as an accountancy night student in the early 90s.

Harrington, 35, graduated as a professional accountant in 1995 but admits he was an "oddball" student who sat right at the front of the class.

A full time amateur golfing during the day, Harrington beamed as he recalled the looks he got from the 'suits' at the back of the class.

He said: "I was definitely at oddity in the school. I would come in and sit at the top of the class in jeans and a sweatshirt with rosy cheeks from being out on the golf course all day.

"And the other students would come in their suits after working for 12 hours that day and only have a Mars bar and a can of coke for dinner.

"They'd go down to the back of the class and have a sleep and I'd sit at the front of the class all chirpy.

"I'm sure they'd look at me and say: 'What's he doing here?' "

Harrington turned professional in 1996 and has since gone on to earn over €20 million on tour.

But he had his wife Caroline to thank for persuading the college to give him a scholarship in his final year.

Professor Brian Farrell, the President of the Dublin Business School, said at the conferring: "We are immensely proud to have such an illustrious sportsman among our alumni."

Harrington joined the Dalai Lama and Polish trade union activist Lech Walesa as a recipient of the Fellowship, which was conferred in association with Liverpool John Moores University.

But Europe's top golfer revealed that his lecturers at college did not always approve of his golf.

Harrington joked: "One lecturer gave out to me one time for coming back from a tournament without having done my homework.

"It was pointed out to me that I should get a grip on reality.

"But I am very proud to receive this honour. It means a lot of me and it says a lot about how far I have come.

"My wife Caroline and I have great memories of the Dublin Business School. We were dating all the way through.

"Where would we be these days without the business colleges in Ireland. They have done a great job and we are all very thankful for that."