Playing in one Pro-Am event ahead of his home tournament at the DP World (European) Tour’s Irish Open on Wednesday, the Dublin-born golfer brought his two Bernese Mountain Dogs along to keep him company.
Despite their owner’s storied career — a three-time major champion and six-time PGA Tour winner — Wilson and Setanta had never set foot or paw on a golf course before, Harrington said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Still, the duo looked right at home on the fairways, tongues wagging and tails wagging, as they pranced around Kildare’s K Club in pursuit of Harrington, attracting plenty of attention as the golfer signed autographs for fans after the event.
“It went surprisingly well, they like all the attention and generally kept to the shady tree areas,” the 52-year-old added in the post.
The dog’s sense of belonging on the field was further established by security passes worn around the neck, matching their images and confirming Wilson and Setanta’s credentials as a “good boy” and a “good dog” respectively.
The excitement of the day seemed to have finally caught up with the couple, albeit with a later one post on X from Harrington showing them scattered across the kitchen floor.
Harrington, who is set to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame next year, is chasing a 16th victory on the European Tour this week and has an added incentive to perform well in front of strong home support.
A long-time ambassador for Make-a-Wish, Harrington, along with compatriot Shane Lowry, has pledged to donate €500 (about $535) for every birdie and €1,000 (about $1,070) for every eagle he makes at the tournament to the children’s charity.
“When you actually do something, it can be pretty dramatic,” Harrington told reporters Tuesday.
“You have a child who is terminally ill or very ill, and it can be difficult, but when you do it, you get so much yourself just by being there and helping and helping a family … it’s incredible. It’s one of the best things you can do in life is to help in that way.
“It helps us feel good about ourselves, considering how privileged a life we live and how well we do financially in golf, it’s nice to be able to give back.”
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