Padraig Harrington insists he will become Mr Ambassador if it his clout helps secure a new global sponsor for the Irish Open.
Mobile company 3 pulled the plug last week after just two years of its three-year deal, leaving the event facing extinction in tough economic times.
But Harrington believes that the Irish Open will survive and he’s prepared to front a new sponsorship bid so it can maintain its status as one of the top tournaments in Europe.
Ready to follow the lead of players like Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez, who run tour events in Spain, Harrington said: “I have already made my own tentative enquiries to see whether companies would be interested in sponsoring the Irish Open.
“It was on a very casual basis, obviously nothing formal. But I suppose if something came out of that, it would be along the lines of me being part of it.
“If some of these tentative enquiries yielded fruit, then yes, I would certainly be prepared to serve as an ambassador for the event.”
Mobile giants 3 ploughed €8m into the Irish Open over the past two years, securing a plum August Bank Holiday date at Killarney this term.
Harrington reckons it was a massive success but fears that a reduction of the €3m prize fund could send two years of hard work down the drain and cost the Irish Open its midsummer date.
That would be a shame considering Ireland has a three-time major winner in Harrington as well as fledgling superstar Rory McIlroy and US Open champion Graeme McDowell as top attractions.
And that’s why the Dubliner is ready to step up and put in the time and effort to act as a figurehead.
The event could head to Northern Ireland with financial backing from the European Tour and the tourist boards on both sides of the border.
But Harrington reckons a big international company needs to join the party, explaining: “Somebody who is putting €4m into an event needs a global return. That means they have to be a global company getting advertising on the Golf Channel and other outlets around the world.”