Padraig Harrington Profile
|Born||Aug 31, 1971|
Padraig Harrington had to learn how to win, but the lessons were well-heeded and he claimed three Major Championships.
Padraig Harrington is a European and PGA Tour golfer from Dublin, Ireland who enjoyed a two-year golden period in which he won two Major Championships - the Open Championship in 2007 and 2008, and the PGA Championship in 2008.
He continues to play on the two main tours and was also appointed European team captain for the 2020 Ryder Cup.
Harrington grew up in Rathfarnham on Dublin's southside. Famous golfers Paul McGinley and Peter Lawrie also came from the suburb, and Harrington attended the same local secondary school (Colaiste Eanna) as McGinley.
Spurred on by his father and brother, Harrington developed an intense love of the game of golf, but has surprised many with quite how much he has achieved.
However, he is known throughout the game as one of the most dedicated grinders, forever seeking a new gadget, idea and swing thought.
Harrington enjoyed a solid amateur career, tasting plenty of success on home soil.
He was selected to represent Great Britain and Ireland in three Walker Cups and claimed victory in his final appearance playing alongside fellow future European Tour winner Stephen Gallacher and David Howell. He won three of his four matches, including a foursomes defeat of Tiger Woods.
He had trained as an accountant, but turned professional later that year.
The European Tour
Harrington wasted little time enjoying the paid ranks, claiming victory in his just 10th European Tour tour start in 1996 at the Peugeot Spanish Open.
It would take him another four years to add to that tally, but his consistency was never in doubt. Indeed, four second-place finishes in five events in late 1999 earned him qualification for a Ryder Cup debut.
In 2000, Harrington won the Brazil SÃ£o Paulo 500 Years Open early in the year and should have added the Benson & Hedges International Open at The Belfry but, when leading by five shots with 18 holes to play, it emerged he had not signed his first round card and he was disqualified.
He took it on the chin, laughed about being an accountant, and proceeded to win plenty over the next few years.
He won the BBVA Open before the year was out and the season-ending Volvo Masters Andalucia in 2001, a result that helped him finish second on the European Tour Order of Merit.
The following year, Harrington won the Dunhill Links Championship after a birdie in the final hole forced a playoff with Eduardo Romero, he also helped Europe win the Ryder Cup, and again finished second on the European Tour's Order of Merit.
In the 2003 season, Harrington won both the BMW Asian Open (which took place in November 2002) and also the Deutsche Bank Players Championship of Europe in May 2003.
After wins at the Omega Hong Kong Open and Linde German Masters, Harrington finished the 2004 season in third place on the Order of Merit, a sixth consecutive season-end top 10 finish.
In 2005, Harrington's involvement on the European Tour decreased as he joined the PGA Tour. However, in 2006, he won the European Tour Order of Merit, helped by a second Dunhill Links triumph.
He was voted European Tour Golfer of the Year in 2007 and 2008, and his latest win on the circuit came in the 2016 Portugal Masters.
The PGA Tour
After gaining PGA Tour membership in 2005, Harrington won his first event at the Honda Classic, beating Vijay Singh and Joe Ogilvie in a sudden-death playoff.
Later in the year, a 20-yard putt helped him snatch the Barclays Classic from Jim Furyk and proved that hen had well and truly announced himself to the world. He was in the world's top 10 for over 300 weeks between 2001 and 2010, but then began to fall behind the leading figures in world golf.
In March 2015, Harrington beat Daniel Berger on the second extra hole of a sudden-death playoff to win the Honda Classic, his first win on either the PGA Tour or the European Tour in seven years.
Harrington has a total of six wins on the PGA Tour, 15 on the European Tour, four on the Asian Tour and one in Japan.
In July 2007, Harrington won his first Major, picking up The Open Championship at Carnoustie after beating Sergio Garcia in a playoff.
Garcia had led after each of the first three rounds, but Harrington's final round of 67 saw him force the playoff he emerged triumphant in.
"It's going to take a long time for it to sink in," Harrington said.
He was the first Irishman to win the Open in 60 years and added of the conclusion: "I know it was only a short putt, but the emotions of it ... I couldn't believe it as it was rolling in from right in the middle of the hole, and I'm thinking, 'The Open Champion.' A huge amount of it was genuine shock."
In 2008, Harrington successfully overcame a wrist injury to defend the Claret Jug. Once again, it was the strength of his final round (69) which pushed him over the line. He finished four shots ahead of England's Ian Poulter.
"I liked being Open Champion so much I didn't want to give the trophy back," he said. "There is a different satisfaction in winning this year. Last year was a thrilling win. I was on top of the world when I won but this gives me more satisfaction. I feel more accomplished. Winning one brings you relief but this one will give me confidence.
"It is the first time I have gone out in the final group at a Major on Sunday afternoon, but I felt really good and I hit the ball every bit as solid as I ever had."
Three weeks later, he won the PGA Championship on the South Course at Oakland Hills Country Club. He became the first European in 78 years to pick up the prize, recovering from a shaky start to finish two shots ahead of Sergio Garcia, again, and Ben Curtis.
"I really do like the fact that no other European has won two Majors consecutively," he said. "I hold the European players who I grew up watching in high esteem. To believe that I achieved something that they hadn't is very special."
The Ryder Cup
Harrington has appeared at the Ryder Cup in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010, with an overall record of 9-13-3, picking up 10.5 points for Europe.
He's also been a vice-captain on three occasions and will captain them at the 2020 Ryder Cup (which will take place in September 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic).
Harrington has been on the winning side four times, with two losses in 1999 and 2008.
Padraig Harrington's personal life
Harrington married his wife, Caroline, who he has known since childhood, in 1997. Their first son, Patrick, was born in 2003, and his younger brother, Ciaran, was born in November 2007.
Harrington's oldest brother, Tadhg, owns and teaches at the Harrington Golf Academy in Dublin, Ireland.
His long-time caddie, Ronan Flood, is married to his wife's sister.
He is a distant cousin of NFL quarter-back Joey Harrington and poker star Dan Harrington.
He is a global ambassador of the Special Olympics.
Padraig Harrington's net worth
Harrington has career earnings of $25million placing him 60th on the all-time money list at the time of writing, as per ESPN.