Three-time Major winner Padraig Harrington today (Tuesday 2 May 2012) took time out of his busy schedule to meet with children from school King Edward V11 & Queen Marys.
While at Royal Lytham and St Annes, the Irish golfer - who won back-to-back Open titles in 2007 and 2008 - met with the school’s golf teams to discuss his triumphs while offering tips and advice.
The school's Acting Head, Judith Cooper said: "This has been a great opportunity for the children, who for many Padraig Harrington, is one of their golfing heroes.
"We have an excellent golf team here at King Edward VII & Queen Mary School, so to have The Open on our doorstep is just fantastic and has created a real buzz throughout the school. I know that most of the children plan to attend The Open in July and to get the opportunity to meet one of the sport’s best known players is a real inspiration.”
Padraig Harrington said: "I always enjoy coming to the North West and it has been great to meet the youngsters here today and see their passion for the game. I hear they're also very talented players.
“It’s important that we encourage juniors to take up what, I believe, is a wonderful sport. The Open is a great opportunity for them to develop an interest in golf and The R&A’s ‘Kids go free’ policy is a great initiative that allows youngsters to come along and watch the world’s best players in action, something that can only help further grow the game.”
Harrington’s visit comes fewer than 80 days before the start of this year’s Championship, which offers free entry for anyone under the age of 16, throughout the week.
The Open Championship takes place at Royal Lytham & St Annes from 19 to 22 July and will be preceded by four practice days from the 15 to 18 July, where visitors can see the golfing legends in "full swing" before the Championship contest has even begun.
Tickets and a variety of hospitality packages are available. Book before the end of May to enjoy early season prices. For more information or to purchase tickets call 01334 460000 or visit tickets.randa.org
For more information please contact Hayley Downey, firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0151 706 9972.
Notes to editors:
*Junior tickets should be obtained prior to the Championship (before 29 June) by applying in writing to: Ticket Office, The R&A, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9JD. The application should be accompanied by some form of age identification (e.g. letter from school or golf club). Any junior who is accompanied by a responsible adult will be admitted free of charge on the day and will be given the appropriate ticket at the paygate. Any junior who arrives at the paygates without a responsible adult or admission ticket will be entitled to purchase a Concessions (16-21 years) admission ticket.
The Open Championship will have been staged in the North West three times in seven years: Royal Liverpool at Hoylake (2006), Royal Birkdale (2008) and Royal Lytham & St Annes (2012). The Open Championship is scheduled to return to Royal Liverpool in 2014.
The Open Championship is golf’s oldest Major. Played since 1860 on British links golf courses, it is the game’s most international Major Championship with qualifying events on every continent.
For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans. Organised by The R&A, The Open delivers an annual economic benefit to its host region, while the Championship’s commercial success supports the development of the game, worldwide.
Padraig Harrington’s third Major triumph came at the 2008 USPGA Championship.