Friday 26 December 2014

It's par(ty) for the course for Harrington

Published 02/06/2007 | 00:00

Despite his phenomenal golfing success and impressive financial wins, the new Irish Open champion, Padraig Harrington remains an incredibly nice and down-to-earth guy.

He was in Dublin on Wednesday at a launch in Kevin Thornton's restaurant to reveal his plans for his first course design which will be sited at The Marlbrook in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

The 400-acre championship course will be spread across stunning parkland on the River Suir in the heart of the Golden Vale. Padraig was keen to stress just how involved he is in the design process, unlike another unnamed professional who had to ask where the 10th tee was on the course he allegedly designed!

Hosting the reception was John Kent, the very charming son of Frank Kent, who bought the Marlbrook estate back in 1981. By 2010, the full development will be complete and along with the golf course and Clubhouse, there will be a 70-bed hotel and a number of large private homes.

Managing the hotel will be Adriaan Bartels who had a huge following when he ran Sheen Falls in Kenmare. The director of golf is Kate MacCann who spent 15 years at Mount Juliet running their golf operation.

Clonmel native and RTE sports broadcaster, Shane O'Donoghue, was delighted with Padraig's designs.

Others enjoying the launch were TV3's rising star, Karen Koster; jeweller Matty Ryan from Thurles; Jeannie and Tom Ronan; Padraig O'hUiginn; and Danielle Hayes, who is expecting her second baby next September.

Meanwhile, on Thursday night, former Boyzone star Keith Duffy and his wife Lisa led the posse of celebs and friends who ducked the showers at the 2007 Christy O'Connor Jr Charity Pro-Am at Roganstown Golf & Country Club.

When the sun came out, glamour gals Elaine McLaughlin, Miriam McGuinness and Audrey O'Rourke sparkled on the green with international golfers Christy O'Connor Jnr and Philip Walton.

The event raises funds for Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, and the ABACAS Unit for children with autism at Scoil Eoin Raheny.

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