St Andrews, Scotland, 21 May 2009
: In preparation for this year’s Open Championship, two time winner Padraig Harrington teed off at the Ailsa course for the first time yesterday.  Harrington was at Turnberry attending a media day organised by his club supplier Wilson Golf.  {multithumb}

Having played this year’s Open venue for the first time he was full of praise for the famous links.

“It’s a super course. It’s lived up to expectations.  I had obviously been told that it was a very fair golf course, an enjoyable course.  There are not a huge amount of opportunities out there but a lot of steady holes, with difficult par 3’s. The par 3’s really stand out the most. You would want to play the par 3’s well with the par 5 seventh hole the only real birdie chance. 

“I have learned what the set up will be like and what shots need to be practiced and played, although the course will change over the next two months.  It will certainly be different with the crowds, the warmer weather and people walking around, that will make it a different experience. There is a little bit there with the grandstands, TV towers and scoreboards up already, so it’s starting to take shape.”

“From watching it on TV and hearing what other people have had to say, I knew it was a great course and from just looking at a few holes, I really like what I see and am particularly looking forward to coming here in July to defend my Open Championship title.” 

A lot of focus will inevitably be given to Harrington’s attempt to make yet more history at this year’s Open where he will attempt to become the first player to lift the Claret Jug in three consecutive years since Peter Thomson in 1954, 1955 and 1956.Image

“I am well aware that Peter Thomson was the last man to do it, but I feel I'll be in with a great chance because I have control over my own preparation and, if I get that right, then I can be in contention. From there, I know I can go on and win it.

“I want to win more Majors but I’m not going to put any more pressure on myself to make it three in a row. I’m going to take it like any other Major; winning them individually is big enough but if they happen to come three years in a row well that’s very special.  I need to treat this like another Open Championship, winning any of them is a big deal.”

“This isn’t too far from my home to be honest. There will be a good Irish contingent as there always is at The Open; regardless of how you play they are right behind you and it’s a nice bit of motivation.  It’s always good to have their support.”

The Open Championship takes place at Turnberry from 12 – 19 July 2009.  Tickets are available online at