Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington chases record third victory
ST ANDREWS, August 2, 2019 – Padraig Harrington will be putting his responsibilities as European Ryder Cup captain on hold for a week as he returns to St Andrews next month with the goal of becoming the first golfer to win three Alfred Dunhill Links Championships.
“I’ve been lucky enough to win twice. It’s definitely the favourite tournament of the year for me and many players,” said Padraig.
“The three courses suit me down to the ground and I will be ready to give myself the best possible chance of winning. When it comes to a links golf course, I have a distinct advantage.”
Harrington won in 2002 and 2006, when he also won the Team Championship with Irish horse racing enthusiast and businessman J.P.McManus.
The Championship, which this year is being staged from September 26-29, celebrates links golf at its finest and is played over three of the world’s best known and respected links courses – the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns Golf Links.
Padraig says he won’t be spending the week sizing up potential Ryder Cup players. “It’s a bit early for ‘Captain’s Picks’, but I’m trying to get to know the younger guys and I’m pairing up with those guys, even at this stage, just to get to know potential players; more on a personal level than judging their games at this stage.
“But I think this week is more for me to enjoy. I don’t see it as a working week. I’ll be very much focused on enjoying it – and the links golf. As a two-time winner and as a constant feature at the Alfred Dunhill Links and as an Open Champion, I’ve always had a great welcome. There’s an affinity between the Irish and the Scots.”
Last year Denmark’s Lucas Bjerregaard beat Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton by one shot to win and he will be back to defend his title. He will be in a field which includes many of the world’s leading golfers partnering some of the biggest names from entertainment and sport.
With a prize fund of US$5 million, the Alfred Dunhill Links, which raises substantial funds for charity each year, incorporates two separate competitions – an individual professional tournament for the world’s leading golfers and the Team Championship, in which the pro’s are paired with amateur players, creating a unique atmosphere and camaraderie.
This year’s tournament will mark 35 consecutive years of Alfred Dunhill golf events in St Andrews and is the 19th year of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which is the only professional tournament played every year over the Old Course.