European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington has been honoured on his return to Bermuda with teeing-up first later today (THU) in the Bermuda Championship.
It’s been eight years since Harrington last competed on the Atlantic island nation in capturing the 2012 Grand Slam of Golf, a four-man event featuring the four annual major champions.
Harrington had replaced then Open champ Ernie Els who was forced to withdraw with Harrington taking home a cool $US600,000. And despite some uncertainty in travelling long-haul from Ireland to Bermuda, Harrington joins his 2016 Olympic Games team-mate Seamus Power in the $4m event, where the winner earns an invitation to the 2021 Masters.
“It’s pretty spectacular and beautiful,” said Harrington. “It’s great here on the island, they do quite a lot of testing so you really do feel very safe and good. It really is a nice place to come. If you’re coming out on holiday, this is probably the best place in the world at this stage.
“My own golf seems to be pretty similar to what I finished off in Europe. Driving seems to be strong, putting I hope is strong – we’ll wait to see that under pressure – and I’ve obviously been working a bit on my wedge play and irons the last week for the weaknesses, hopefully they’ll come back up to strengths. I’m looking for a big week here. Last time I was here in 2013 I won the grand slam here so good memories. It’s going to be windy which should play into my hands but you need to play well and get a few breaks along the way.”
My preview of the up coming Bermuda Championship. Taken on the 235y 16th,the signature hole @PortRoyalBDA @PGATOUR @WilsonGolf@Titleist @mutualofomaha @CluneGC @ROLEX @TeamVKTRY @dunnesstores @RyderCupEurope pic.twitter.com/U0MYvwcSle
— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) October 28, 2020
Power meanwhile is returning to the PGA Tour for a first occasion in six weeks since contesting the opening two events of the 2020/21 wraparound schedule – the Safeway Open and Corales Puntacana Championship – where he missed the halfway cut in each event. The West Waterford golfer is no stranger to the Bermuda event having teed-up a year ago and capped his week with a closing round 66 to finish T31st on the Royal Blue course located in the virtual middle of the ‘hook’ of the fish-hook shaped Atlantic Ocean island.
Also, in the field is newly-married Harold Varner III though the 30-year old admits he’s like a fish out of water in what to do with his wedding ring: “I’m just figuring out how to wear the ring and play golf at the same time,” said Varner III. “I sent the guy the measurement of my ring finger but it didn’t come out great. I went to sleep with the ring on and it cut-off the circulation in my finer so that wasn’t a great idea. You deal with it and it’s all part of life, so it’s better to keep in on. If I don’t keep it on I’ll lose it.”
Harrington will tee-up at 10.35am (7.35am Bermuda time) with Power at 3.05pm (Irish time)