Sunday 30 April 2017

Padraig Harrington: 'I would be excited to play a round of golf with Donald Trump'

Harrington said he would welcome a round of golf with Donald Trump
Harrington said he would welcome a round of golf with Donald Trump

Harry Clarke

Padraig Harrington has revealed he would welcome an invitation to play golf with Donald Trump.

Rory McIlroy hit the headlines this week after he joined the controversial President of the United States for a round in Florida last Sunday.

Ex-Guardian golf correspondent Lawrence Donegan came out strongly against McIlroy's decision.

"The problem is that Rory is a beloved figure, probably the most beloved figure in his sport," he said.

"He is apparently appealing to a younger audience, he is very vocal about appealing to a younger audience. It basically reinforces old stereotypes."

"I literally can't believe that McIlroy has done this," he continued.

In a compelling interview with Paul Kimmage in last weekend's Sunday Independent, Harrington stated that he does not feel his status as a worldwide sports star makes his opinion on politics anymore influential than anyone else's.

"I'm not going to give my political agenda, but the point I'm trying to make is this - because I have the ability to hit a little white golf ball I get this big soapbox to stand on," Harrington told Kimmage.

"But I don't have to use it, and I don't believe I should. There are professors and educated people qualified to do that. They should be given the soapbox, not me. But the problem is that the sportsperson will be listened to."

And Harrington's stance on politics and sport was evident when asked whether or not he would join Trump on the fairways.

“Of course, I would respect the office of the President of the United States and play with the democratically elected leader,” said Harrington, in quotes reported by the Irish Daily Star.

“So, Yes, I would be excited to play a round of golf with the President and I would respect the people of the United States by honouring the invitation from their President to play, and of course I would accept.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played golf with a head of government but then I have played with a lot of ministers including many Irish Government ministers.”

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