Tom, Arnie and Pod get doctorates

Doctor of Laws degrees have been conferred on Padraig Harrington, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson.

Padraig Harrington, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson on Tuesday all received honorary degrees from the University of St Andrews in recognition of their achievements in golf.

Harrington, a qualified accountant who turned professional in 1995, first won the Open Championship in 2007 at Carnoustie.

He won it again in 2008 at Royal Birkdale and then followed that up by winning the PGA Championship in the same year.

His Open Championship heroics established him as the first European to retain the Claret Jug in defending it since James Braid in 1906.

Watson has won the Open five times, the last in 1983, and last year, aged 59, came very close to doing it again, while Palmer. who had two victories in the 1960s, has been credited with substantially increasing American interest and participation in the Open

Doctor of Laws degrees will be conferred on the three golfing legends by the university chancellor, Sir Menzies Campbell.

The university principal, Louise Richardson, said: “Individually and collectively, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington exemplify excellence, drive and achievement at the highest levels of professional sport.

“This will be an opportunity for St Andrews and Scotland to honour their determination and achievement in the game of golf and the pursuit of excellence. We are absolutely delighted that they have agreed to accept these honorary degrees at the home of golf on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship.”

Honorary degrees to golfers from the university have previously been awarded to Jack Nicklaus, Colin Montgomerie and Nick Faldo.