Ireland’s Major Champion, Padraig Harrington delivered a glowing tribute to Argentina’s Robert de Vicenzo who has passed away aged 94.
Harrington was not aware of the news until being made aware by Irish Golfer Magazine following his round of a one-under par 71 in bright but windy afternoon conditions in the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio.
“I remember vividly meeting him when he attended the 2010 Open and he was a beautiful man”, said Harrington.
“What a golfer. He contested the Former Champions outing on the Wednesday before The Open, and I remember he drove the 18th green that day and that was something considering how old he was back then.”
“It is hard to believe someone as lovely as Roberto is no longer with us but he was a real champion and just had such a lovely way about him.”
“I knew in meeting him that he just loved the game of golf so much and he enjoyed what golf had given to him throughout out his life.”
“So, it very is very sad when we lose such wonderful golfers as Roberto and Arnold late last year but Roberto clearly led a good life”.
Harrington, in his first PGA Tour event in three months since undergoing shoulder surgery, carded a dozen straight pars ahead of a 13th hole bogey but regrouped to post back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15 and closed with a trio of pars.
And in returning to competition last week at Wentworth after three months absence, Harrington confessed he is very much mentally rusty.
“Twelve pars in succession to start the round just shows that I am not sharp as I had quite a few chances and missed a few short ones for birdie,” he said.
“All I am doing at present, is playing my way back into competition. I am rusty, mentally rusty as everything is just not fluid at the moment but that is okay and I will be that much stronger for this round.”
“The way I look at it is that every day now I should get better and better because I have just found myself getting stuck a few times since returning and wondering what am I doing here or what should I be doing there.”
“So, a lot of mental activity that does not need to be there.”