Harrington: "I'd be out to pasture by now if I was a horse"

Padraig Harrington launches the 2013 Irish Open advance ticket initiative ahead of the Excellence in Sport Awards dinner in Dublin on Monday. Picture by SportsfilePadraig Harrington is Ireland’s thoroughbred winner with three majors to his name.

But while the 41-year old jokes that he’d be “out to pasture” by now if he were a horse, he wants to be first past the winning post again in an Irish Open with a horseracing flavour.

As part of the Irish Open ticket campaign, fans can enjoy both sports on Saturday, June 29 by buying a specially priced ‘Irish Double’ ticket for the third round of the Irish Open and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day at The Curragh for a combined price of €50.

Harrington said: “Horses aren’t exactly my strong point but it will be an interesting night for people who go to the golf and on to The Curragh.

“It should add to the festival feel at the Irish Open because it has to be more than a golf tournament. It has to be a festival.”

Harrington used his 2007 Irish Open win at Adare Manor as a springboard to three majors wins in the next 15 months

And he’ll be hoping for a repeat Irish Open win at Carton House that will prove that he’s still a force as he bids to rack up more majors.

Harrington beamed: “I am not a great judge of horse flesh but I’d say I’d be out to pasture by now if I was a horse.

“Thanks be to God I am not a racehorse or a footballer, though the good horses have a nice life when they retire!”

Speaking later at the 25th anniversary of the Bank of Ireland Excellence in Sport Awards at the Burlington Hotel, Harrington said: “I’m very lucky I play the sport I play because if I was involved in any other sport, I’d be retired by now.

“It’s great to look back and enjoy the things we have achieved but you can also look forward to the future.

“I heard Paddy Barnes and Katie Taylor talking about the Olympics in Rio in 2016 - hopefully I will be there with them.”

He admits that world No 1 Rory McIlroy will be top draw at Carton House next June, but that doesn’t mean he is going to roll over for the Holywood star.

That doesn’t mean that any of us who are playing are going to make it any easier for him. I’d like to win a second Irish Open and, certainly, I know Carton very well. It should suit my game, there’s no doubt about that. It’s a fair course so I think every player going there is going to be happy with the course.

“It doesn’t necessarily suit big hitters and there’s no trickery out there, so we’ll all have a fair chance going into the week. I’m looking forward to it already.”

Irish Open Tickets

Golf fans can now purchase tickets to what promises to be another thrilling Irish Open at discounted prices before the New Year.
A season ticket for all four days can be bought for €60 before 31st December, a saving of €10 on next year’s pre-tournament prices and €20 on admission at the gate.
Adult day tickets are priced at €25 before 31st December, rising to €30 pre-event and €35 on the gate.
Concessions (60 and over) start at €40 for a season ticket and €15 for any one day tickets if purchased this year. Under-16s accompanied by an adult are admitted free of charge and all car parking is also free.
Reserved grandstand seating can also be purchased immediately for Thursday, Friday and Saturday (€10) and the Sunday (€15) of the event. No concessions of other discounts apply.
Corporate Hospitality packages are also available with prices ranging from €245 to €295 (plus VAT). For all enquiries please contact Joanne in CSL Hospitality on 01 676 6650 or joanne@cslhospitality.ie For further information please visit www.cslhospitality.ie
Full ticket information can be found at: www.europeantour.com/tickets or telephone Ticket Hotline:  +440800 023 2557. Irish callers can phone: 1890 252 698. Postal enquiries should be sent to: European Tour Tickets, Mirren Court Three, 123 Renfrew Court Three, Paisley, PA3 4EA.