Friday 19 April 2019

Padraig Harrington: I only ever checked my Twitter notifications once – I won't do it again!

Declan Whooley

Irish golfer Padraig Harrington says he does not allow the outside world into his – including ignoring social media to maintain his focus.

The three-time Major winner was speaking at the Web Summit at the RDS in Dublin today and told the captive audience that physically he in as good a shape as he has ever been as he takes a break from competitive action until the New Year.

Speaking to Independent.ie, the 44-year-old said that he hasn't read an article about himself since he was 18 in order to keep his focus, though blocking the ever increasing volume of social media messages is a "massive challenge".

"I don't allow the outside world into my world. I have a few confidants, a few advisors, I take their advice on board," he said before recalling the one and only time he read comments on his Twitter account.

"I had an interesting one this year," he told Independent.ie. "One of the other golfers was on Twitter and he sent a picture out of the two of us on the golf course.

"It was sent to my notifications. I went into my notifications which I hadn't done before and clicked on it.

"I saw the picture and I read the next three tweets. This was the week before I won in Honda. The first tweet was basically slagging off my caddie. The next tweet was about me and the next one was about me and I didn't find them so funny. I haven't looked again. There's no point."

The Dubliner is adamant that he has no problem with the public voicing their opinion, they do not help him achieve his goal of success on the golf course.

"There's nothing wrong with what the people were saying. Everyone's opinion is valid. I just don't need to listen to it.

"I'm not critical of anybody out there having an opinion and giving that opinion. I'm just saying I can't let it into my world."

Harrington was speaking with Niall Bruton of Irish elite sports firm ORRECO which recently partnered with IBM Watson to develop Coach Watson. The application will be able to sift through complex medical data and help sports teams and doctors make decisions on training.

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