Pádraig Harrington will return to the scene of Great Britain and Ireland’s memorable 1995 Walker Cup victory when he tees it up at The Senior Open Presented by Rolex this summer.
Europe’s only Senior Major Championship returns to Royal Porthcawl Golf Club from July 27-30, 2023, and the three-time Major Champion will be looking to go one better than his debut near-miss at Gleneagles last year, when he finished just one stroke behind Darren Clarke, who picked up his first Senior Open title.
Harrington has fond memories of the South Wales venue, having won three points from a possible four in GB&I’s 14-10 victory over the United States in 1995, including a foursomes victory alongside Jody Flanagan against John Harris and a 19-year-old Tiger Woods.
“I can’t wait to go back to Royal Porthcawl for The Senior Open later this year,” said Harrington. “Some places stick in your mind, especially when you’ve played well there, and Porthcawl sits comfortably in that bracket.
“I’ve been very lucky to have some amazing experiences in this game but playing the Walker Cup, the pinnacle of amateur golf for me, was a true honour. I remember that we were winning by two points after the first day in 1995 and it was vitally important to take a lead into the final round of Singles, so to secure that point in the final game of the morning against John Harris and Tiger was huge. I’m sure all those memories will come flooding back in July.”
Harrington, a 15-time DP World Tour winner, made a dream start to his over-50s career in his maiden season in 2022.
The 51-year-old won four times, picking up his first title in fine fashion at the U.S. Senior Open, holding off fellow former Ryder Cup Captain Steve Stricker to win by one, before further victories at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open and the Ascension Charity Classic put him in a strong position on the PGA TOUR Champions’ Charles Schwab Cup Points List.
He blew away the field at the season ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship, finishing seven strokes clear to take second place on the season-long Order of Merit, and he is now looking to secure further success in 2023.
“I was pleased with my first full year playing PGA TOUR Champions golf,” he said. “I still believe I can compete at the very top level so I was confident going in and I think I proved that with my performances last year.
“It was great to win a Major at Saucon Valley and I came close at Gleneagles, but Darren was a deserving champion to close it out in those conditions.
“Hopefully we can have another great battle this year and treat the fans to a great exhibition of golf on a fantastic course.”
Royal Porthcawl Golf Club was founded in 1891 as a nine-hole course before an agreement was made four years later to add another nine holes. In 1909, the club was bestowed the honour of using the prefix Royal – only the second club in Wales to be granted the privilege after Royal St David’s – before hosting its first significant tournament in 1951 when The Amateur Championship took place.
This year will mark the third time the venue has hosted The Senior Open Presented by Rolex, with Bernhard Langer winning in 2014 and 2017. His win in 2014 was by a Championship-record 13 strokes.
Tickets for The Senior Open Presented by Rolex are on sale now, with prices starting at just £25 for adults for tournament days. Season tickets, giving holders access to all four tournament days plus the Wednesday practice day, are available for only £95. Click here to purchase yours.
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