July 04, 2018: Padraig Harrington returns to his homeland with his sights set firmly on winning his national Open for the second time at this week’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation – the fourth Rolex Series event of the season.
While the two Indians share the thirst for success, they will set out this week with their careers on two divergent ends of the spectrum. Shubhankar is looking to tighten his grip at the top of the order of merit over the next three weeks, playing in Europe.
On the other hand, Chawrasia is dealing with a precipitous decline in form. The simple man from Kolkata would love to decomplicate his struggles and have a good week in Ireland to put his game back on track.
The 46 year old Harrington, who overcame Bradley Dredge in a play-off to claim victory in the 2007 edition of the event before going to win The Open Championship at Carnoustie later that year, arrives at Ballyliffin Golf Club intent on adding another title to his 15 European Tour wins.
Although this week will mark the Dubliner’s first visit to the county of Donegal, Harrington believes he can continue his enviable record on links golf courses – which includes his Open Championship victories in 2007 and in 2008, the latter at Royal Birkdale.
Shane Lowry, who memorably won his home event as an amateur in 2009 at County Louth, also goes in search of a second European Tour victory on home soil while Paul Dunne – who triumphed for Ireland alongside Gavin Moynihan in this year’s GolfSixes – is another player looking to make the most of home advantage this week.