Padreig Harrington said he has reached the full circle since becoming an honorary member of the R&A.
Harrington, a three-time major winner in Dublin, is now playing in his 25th Irish Open, about to start his second round at Galgorm Castle.
Harrington Catriona, who has been R&A Ambassador since 2011, announced this morning that she will be joining Honor Members of the Exclusive Club with Matthew OBE, Anthony Ells and Nick Price.
I have a long association with R&A and have been lucky enough to win the Open in 2007 and 2008, the dream of any golfer, just before becoming an R&A ambassador, so becoming an honorary member now is the current all-rounder cup captain, ”he said.
“As an ambassador, I have witnessed R&A work tirelessly around the world, playing an amazing role in the upliftment and development of the game.
“Golf is a big part of my life and I live by its traditions, rules and etiquette, so I’m proud to be a member of this esteemed club and enjoy joining other great names on the list.”
Harrington opened the second round at the 38th-ranked County Antrim after an overpass shooting at 71.
The strangest sight of yesterday’s first round, the 49 – year – old raised a large branch to the left of the 10th Fairway, after a second shot from the fifth park.
Harrington were unable to recover enough from the Galgorm net.
He had taken two birdies earlier in the first four overs and was led to two overs for the match, but he dug in and scored 71 to dismiss the captains.
“This is really standard, you can move anything that is not attached,” Harrington explained of the incident in the tenth hole.
“But it’s really weird, I ‘m moving the branch for the wrong golf ball. Marshall pointed me to a golf ball.
“It was very heavy – (but) I’m very strong! It was actually dead and light, but it looked beautiful …”.
Having a knee problem at the tournament, one last bad experience made him a good lunch.
“It was a mixed bag,” Harrington said. “It was messy in places, but I enjoyed it.
“It was a little rusty. I was happy with a lot of good stuff and even bad stuff – 71 not shooting, golf.
“Clubbing was hard, I hit a lot of shots, a few irons went further than expected, and a few came short.
“Ultimately what I lost was the Pars. Yesterday I played them in the practice round. They were under three years old. Today I played them in two overs. That’s the five shot difference and today’s story.”
But with a smile, he added: “I went a few times to turn around in the crowd and had to stop myself, but on the 15th I left a wave when I made a putt for the bird.
“Thankfully, my group had a camera crew all day, so we still had experience of that tournament, we had great marshals, so we didn’t struggle to find golf balls.
“The atmosphere was lost, but people were watching from home, and there was a buzz from it.”