Three-time Major Champion and Global Ambassador for Special Olympics, Padraig Harrington, will ‘Wear the Laces’ for Special Olympics as he attempts to win a second Irish Open title at Royal Portrush Golf Club this week.
Harrington has been proudly wearing the Special Olympics emblazoned red shoe laces at recent tournaments in the UK and USA, including the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club and the US Open Championship in San Francisco. Harrington wears the laces to show his support for Special Olympics and to highlight the movement’s message of respect, acceptance and inclusion for all people with intellectual disabilities.
Harrington said: “I hope by wearing the Laces for Special Olympics I will not only raise awareness but also show my support for the athletes, families, coaches and volunteers who are the heartbeat of the Special Olympics Movement. Winning the Irish Open is always a goal of mine and having the support of the global Special Olympics family inspires me.”
A Global Ambassador for Special Olympics since May 2010, Harrington has conducted a number of golf clinics for Special Olympics athletes and coaches during the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club and at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, amongst others.
With over four million athletes in over 170 countries, Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organisation, providing year-round training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Harrington became the first European player to win back-to-back Major Championships when he added the 2008 US PGA Championship to his 2008 Open Championship crown, having been the first Irishman to win a Major in 60 years at The 2007 Open Championship.
Harrington has been a member of Europe’s Ryder Cup team six times; he has also won the 2006 European Tour Order of Merit; was the first Irish winner of the Irish Open for 25 years when he triumphed in 2007; and has won a total of 25 tournament titles worldwide. A fourth Major title could be in his grasp after his top ten finish at the Masters Tournament in April and his top five finish at the recent US Open Championship.
Harrington urges golf fans to join him and purchase the Special Olympics shoe laces to show their support. The Laces will be available for sale at the Irish Open at the Royal Portrush Professional Shop retail unit, and can also be purchased online at www.wearthelaces.org.