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Padraig Jnr 'not bitten by golf bug'

THREE-TIMES major winner Padraig Harrington has revealed that his young son is not quite as bitten by the golf bug as he was at the same age.

Young Paddy (10) is the third generation of Harringtons to tee off at Stackstown Golf Club, perched in the Dublin Mountains with stunning views over the city.

For Harrington, this is where it all began at the tender age of four. By the age of five he was helping his father – a founding member – to level off the greens.

When Harrington gets home from golf tours, father and son set off for a few rounds together, like he did with his own father in the early 70s.


"Paddy enjoys playing golf with me," said Harrington. "He hasn't quite got the bug. He's not travelling up and playing 45 holes like I would've done at that age, but he likes playing around when I'm with him."

Back at Stackstown yesterday to launch the Irish Open – which will be held this year at Fota Island from June 19 to 22 – Harrington said he was looking forward to the event.

Unlike at other key tournaments, he will not get to hang out with fellow Irish players Paul McGinley, Shane Lowry, Darren Clarke and Rory McIlroy.

"There will be a lot going on," said Harrington, who is just back from the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, junior sports minister Michael Ring has called on multi-national companies in Ireland to "have a corporate conscience" by investing in sport here.

One or more of the companies might like to sponsor the Irish Open for the next four or five years, he suggested, since funding for the event had come down from €2.5m to €1.5m.

He said the Government was trying to set up a meeting with companies to see if they could get them into sponsoring not only the Open but other events.