sport news DEREK LAWRENSON: Padraig Harrington's Irish party after US Senior Open win ... trends now

sport news DEREK LAWRENSON: Padraig Harrington's Irish party after US Senior Open win ... trends now
sport news DEREK LAWRENSON: Padraig Harrington's Irish party after US Senior Open win ... trends now

sport news DEREK LAWRENSON: Padraig Harrington's Irish party after US Senior Open win ... trends now

A couple of hours from Dublin, they will be toasting the returning hero at the Horizon Irish Open this week as Padraig Harrington arrives home a major winner once more, after following up Matt Fitzpatrick’s US Open victory by claiming the senior version on Sunday.

Contrast that with the bitter mood at Pumpkin Ridge, on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, where the second LIV event begins on Thursday against a backdrop of civic unrest as the anger against the Saudi-backed circuit and the untold harm it is doing to the game grows.

Harrington claimed his first senior title by one shot from Steve Stricker, his opposite number as captain at the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits last September. We all know how that one went.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington claimed the US Senior Open at Saucon Valley on Monday

Ireland's Padraig Harrington claimed the US Senior Open at Saucon Valley on Monday 

It was a different story with clubs in their hands, as Harrington appeared hell bent on handing out a comparable thrashing, with a six-stroke lead at one point. A combination of Irish nerves and some late American birdies left Harrington hanging on to follow up his three major victories at the Open (2007-08) and US PGA (2008).

The field at the second LIV event is undeniably much stronger than the first at St Albans, with additions including Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed, and Abraham Ancer. It does not mean the welcome is any more effusive.

A letter from the local mayor and signed by fellow dignitaries of surrounding towns was sent to the organisers, expressing their ‘concerns’. It began: ‘We oppose this event because it is being sponsored by a repressive government whose human rights abuses are documented.’

Pumpkin Ridge is one of the most prestigious clubs in the area but, according to the local paper, around 20 members have resigned in protest at the staging, despite having to forsake their £10,000 deposit entrance fee. The head pro has also resigned. The organisers, playing to their bosses back in Jeddah, will prohibit spectators from displaying any protest signs.

As for Greg Norman, the face

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