Pádraig Harrington

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Pádraig Harrington
— Golfer —
Pádraig Harrington, Open 2007.jpg
Harrington at the Open Championship in 2007
Personal information
Nickname Páidí, Paddy
Born (1971-08-31) 31 August 1971 (age 43)
Dublin, Ireland
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 83 kg (183 lb)
Nationality  Ireland
Residence Dublin, Ireland
Spouse Caroline (m. 1997)
Children Patrick (b. 2003)
Ciaran (b. 2007)
Career
Turned professional 1995
Current tour(s) European Tour (joined 1996)
PGA Tour (joined 2005)
Professional wins 28
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 5
European Tour 14
Japan Golf Tour 1
Asian Tour 3
Other 10
Best results in major championships
(Wins: 3)
Masters Tournament T5: 2002, 2008
U.S. Open T4: 2012
The Open Championship Won: 2007, 2008
PGA Championship Won: 2008
Achievements and awards
European Tour
Order of Merit winner
2006
European Tour
Golfer of the Year
2007, 2008
PGA Player of the Year 2008
PGA Tour
Player of the Year
2008
(For a full list of awards, see here)

Pádraig P. Harrington (born 31 August 1971) is an Irish professional golfer who plays on the European Tour and the PGA Tour. He has won three major championships: The Open Championship in 2007 and 2008 and the PGA Championship, also in 2008.

Background[edit]

Harrington was born in Dublin, Ireland, the youngest of five sons of Patrick and Breda Harrington. His father, "Paddy" (1933–2005), a Garda who played Gaelic football for Cork in the 1950s, was also a boxer and hurler, and played to a five handicap in golf.[1]

He grew up in Rathfarnham, a middle class area in Dublin's Southside and the birthplace of two other touring professional golfers – Paul McGinley and Peter Lawrie. Harrington attended local secondary school Coláiste Éanna at the same time, but not in the same year/class, as McGinley, giving it the unique distinction of having produced two Ryder Cup golfers. Coached by Joseph McGinley, a golf enthusiast in the school, and Martin Hynes, local player and first caddie, Harrington's interest and passion for the game grew, as the pair recorded their first victory together, in Stackstown G.C.

Professional career[edit]

European Tour[edit]

After a successful amateur career, including winning the Walker Cup with the Great Britain & Ireland team in 1995, Harrington turned professional later that year, joining the European Tour in 1996. Harrington came to professional golf at a relatively late age, having studied accountancy at university; he worked in that profession for a number of years while playing high-standard amateur golf. He was unsure whether to turn professional, initially doubting his skills.

His first victory came quickly, in the 1996 Peugeot Spanish Open. But for the next few years, the most remarkable thing about his career was the number of times he finished second in European Tour events without ever bettering that position, including four second places in five events in late 1999. However, in 2000 he discovered a winning touch, and he had at least one win on the European Tour each year from then up to 2004. He has finished in the top ten on the European Tour's Order of Merit seven times, including second places in 2001 and 2002 and third places in 2003 and 2004 and eventually won the Order of Merit in 2006. Harrington won the European Tour Golfer of the Year award in 2007 and 2008.

Harrington's 2006 European Order of Merit win came after a titanic battle with Paul Casey and David Howell, which was won on the last hole of the last event. Sergio García bogeyed the 72nd hole in the season ending Volvo Masters to give Harrington a share of second place which earned him enough money to leapfrog Paul Casey to 1st place on the Order of Merit.[2]

From around 2000, Harrington appeared with increasing frequency in the U.S. at the majors and World Golf Championships events, and as a sponsor's invitee. He won his first professional event in the U.S. at the Target World Challenge, a non-PGA Tour event hosted by Tiger Woods in 2002. In both 2003 and 2004 he was the runner up in The Players Championship, and in the latter year he won enough money on the PGA Tour as a non-member to earn an invitation to the end of season Tour Championship.

PGA Tour[edit]

He took membership of the PGA Tour in 2005 and in March he won his first PGA Tour official money event at the Honda Classic, where he beat Vijay Singh and Joe Ogilvie in a sudden-death playoff. In late June, Harrington snatched the Barclays Classic from Jim Furyk with a spectacular 65-foot (20 m) eagle putt on the final hole for his second PGA Tour win. Two weeks later his father died from oesophageal cancer on 11 July, the Monday night preceding the 2005 Open Championship, forcing Harrington's withdrawal.

Harrington has spent a considerable amount of time both in the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings (over 300 weeks between 2001 and 2010[3][4]) and achieved his best ranking of third following his second Open Championship victory. He has also played for Europe in six Ryder Cups; losing in 1999 and 2008, but winning in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010. He has also won the par-3 contest at Augusta National, held the day before The Masters, in 2003 (tie), 2004 and 2012 (tie).

Major championship breakthrough[edit]

Harrington teeing off at the 2007 Open Championship.

At the 2007 Open Championship, Harrington defeated Sergio García in a four-hole playoff at Carnoustie Golf Links, becoming the first Irishman to win The Open Championship in 60 years, and the first ever from the Republic of Ireland. Both players went into the playoff having shot a 7-under 277 for the championship. Harrington subsequently won by one stroke in the playoff.

A year later at the 2008 Open Championship, it was unclear if he would get a chance to defend his Open title at Royal Birkdale as eight days prior to the event he injured his wrist. But Harrington successfully defended his title, overcoming a 2-shot deficit to Greg Norman with a final round 69. He shot a four-under-par 32 on the back nine, which enabled him to pull away from Norman and Ian Poulter. His eagle on the par-5 17th all but sealed the tournament. He is the first European golfer since James Braid in 1906 to retain the Claret Jug. The win moved him from fourteenth to third in the world rankings, behind only Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.[5]

Just three weeks after winning the Open Championship, Harrington won the PGA Championship over the South Course of the Oakland Hills Country Club, for his third major. Although at five over par after two rounds, he shot eight under par for the weekend, carding successive scores of 66 in the third and fourth rounds. His three under par 277 was two shots ahead of Sergio García and Ben Curtis. Harrington became the first European to win the PGA Championship in 78 years (Tommy Armour in 1930), and is the first winner from Ireland.

Aside from Tiger Woods, who has won consecutive majors three times (2000, 2002, and 2006), Harrington is the first golfer to win two majors in the same year since Mark O'Meara in 1998 and the first to win consecutive majors in the same year since Nick Price in 1994.

Harrington's victory in the PGA Championship secured his position as the number one player in Europe, earning him the number one spot in the 2008 European Ryder Cup team under captain Nick Faldo.

2009: First winless year for a decade[edit]

Harrington started his 2009 season with a tied-fifth finish in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on the European Tour. He then went through a tough period in his career, missing the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, as well as the Northern Trust Open on the PGA Tour. He finished tied-11th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in what would be one of his better results in the early part of 2009. He arrived at the 2009 Masters Tournament hoping to join Ben Hogan and Tiger Woods as the only players to win three consecutive professional majors. Harrington started with a 3-under-par first round, but eventually faded over the weekend, finishing tied for 35th place. His struggles continued in the succeeding months, as he missed the cut at five of his next six events, including The 3 Irish Open and the U.S. Open. It was during this period that he announced that he was working on swing changes with coach Bob Torrance.

Harrington arrived at The Open Championship at Turnberry hoping to complete a hat-trick of Open wins, a feat that has only been achieved by Peter Thomson. He ended up finishing tied for 65th place. At the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational he was involved in a final day head-to-head between himself and World number one Tiger Woods. Harrington led by one shot playing the 16th hole, but he racked up a triple-bogey to Woods' birdie and he finished in joint 2nd place. The following week Harrington, the defending champion, played the first two rounds with Woods at the PGA Championship. He shot a first round 68, ending one shot behind the leader Woods. Rounds of 73 and 69 left him two shots behind Woods. He was in contention in the final round, until he made an 8 at the par-3 8th hole. He ended in a tie for 10th. He finished in the top-10 in all four FedEx Cup playoff events, before further top-10s in Europe and the States before the end of the season. He ended the year winless on the European and PGA Tours for the first time since 1999.

2010–present[edit]

Harrington missed the cut in three out of the four majors in 2010. In an inconsistent season, he had five top-10s on the PGA Tour, but also missed six cuts. He was a controversial wild-card pick by European captain Colin Montgomerie for the 2010 Ryder Cup. He won two matches and lost two matches as Europe regained the Ryder Cup. It was his sixth Ryder Cup and fourth time being on the winning team. He won his first tournament in two years at the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia on the Asian Tour. He finished the year ranked 25th in the world.

Harrington started his 2011 season with an opening round 65, for a first round lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship on the European Tour. He was later disqualified before his second round commenced, after a spectator telephoned in and pointed out an incident of his ball moving an exceptionally small distance closer to the hole on the green, while he was replacing his ball marker, during the first round; it had been shown on television. (The incident led to a rules review, and if it were to occur again, would not be a penalty.) He missed the cut at the Masters Tournament and finished tied for 45th at the U.S. Open. In June 2011, he dropped outside the top 50 in the World Rankings for the first time since 1999.

Harrington made his first start of the 2012 PGA Tour season at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am where he finished joint top of the Pro-Am leaderboard, alongside partner J.P. McManus, with Brian Harman and Greg Ontiveros. Harrington also enjoyed a good finish in the overall tournament with a tied for seventh finish. In March 2012, Harrington shot a 61 in the first round of the Transitions Championship to set a new course record at the Copperhead Course. This was also Harrington's lowest ever round on the PGA Tour. He could not maintain his brilliant first day's play over the remaining three rounds though and finished in a tie for 20th place.

In April 2012, at the first major of the year, The Masters, Harrington shot five under for the last six holes in his third round to close to within three shots of the lead. In the final round, he shot a level par round of 72 to finish tied for 8th. It was Harrington's first top-10 finish in a major since the 2009 PGA Championship.

At the 2012 U.S. Open, Harrington was in contention to win a fourth major championship, when rounds of 74-70-71 on the first three days got him into contention on Sunday. After bogeying two of the first six holes, Harrington preceded to play the stretch from hole 7–17 in 5-under-par to find himself two behind the leader. Needing a birdie at the last to finish ahead of the clubhouse leader Michael Thompson, Harrington took the pin on at the 18th and found a plugged lie in the greenside bunker, which resulted in a bogey finish at 3-over-par. Ultimately this did not cost him the championship as he finished two shots behind Webb Simpson on 1-over-par. Harrington later stated that he thought he had to birdie the last to get to 1-over-par as the reason for taking such an aggressive line on the 18th. He eventually finished in a tie for fourth place, which represented his best showing at a U.S. Open.

Personal life[edit]

Harrington has known his wife Caroline since childhood. They were married in 1997 and have two sons: Patrick, born in 2003, and Ciarán, born in November 2007.[6]

Harrington is a distant cousin of 1995 World Series of Poker champion and author Dan Harrington and NFL quarterback Joey Harrington.[7]

Harrington's given name "Pádraig" is the Irish Language version of the name Patrick, which is in common usage in Ireland. His four older brothers have Irish names as well (Tadhg, Columb, Fintan, and Fergal).

Harrington's caddy since 2004 is Ronan Flood. Flood married Susie Gregan, the sister of Pádraig's wife, in 2007.

After leaving school, Harrington mixed amateur golf with studying Accounting. He passed his final exams in 1994 to gain admittance to ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

Harrington has undergone laser eye surgery,[8] as did his compatriot Paul McGinley, in a bid to improve his game.[9]

Charity work[edit]

Harrington became a Global Ambassador for Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organisation for people with intellectual disabilities, in May 2010. He has conducted a number of golf clinics for Special Olympics athletes and coaches.[citation needed]

Harrington is patron of Irish charity Oesophageal Cancer Fund (OCF) since 2006, having lost his father to oesophageal cancer in 2005. He actively promotes Lollipop Day, the designated day for oesophageal cancer fundraising in Ireland celebrated every February.

Amateur wins (4)[edit]

  • 1991 Sherry Cup
  • 1994 West of Ireland Amateur Championship
  • 1995 Irish Amateur Open Championship, Irish Amateur Close Championship

Professional wins (28)[edit]

European Tour wins (14)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (3)
Other European Tour (11)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 12 May 1996 Peugeot Spanish Open −16 (70-64-67-71=272) 4 strokes Scotland Gordon Brand Jnr.
2 2 Apr 2000 Brazil São Paulo 500 Years Open −14 (69-68-65-68=270) 2 strokes United States Gerry Norquist
3 22 Oct 2000 BBVA Open Turespaña Masters
Comunidad de Madrid
−21 (67-64-66-70=267) 2 strokes Scotland Gary Orr
4 11 Nov 2001 Volvo Masters Andalucia −12 (67-71-66=204) 1 stroke Republic of Ireland Paul McGinley
5 6 Oct 2002 Dunhill Links Championship −19 (66-66-68-69=269) Playoff Argentina Eduardo Romero
6 24 Nov 2002 BMW Asian Open −15 (66-70-68-69=273) 1 stroke India Jyoti Randhawa
7 18 May 2003 Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe −19 (65-66-70-68=269) Playoff Denmark Thomas Bjørn
8 7 Dec 2003 Omega Hong Kong Open −13 (66-75-64-70=275) 1 stroke South Africa Hennie Otto
9 12 Sep 2004 Linde German Masters −11 (67-69-67-66=269) 3 strokes Australia Nick O'Hern
10 8 Oct 2006 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship −17 (66-69-68-68=271) 5 strokes Wales Bradley Dredge, United States Edward Loar,
England Anthony Wall
11 20 May 2007 Irish Open −5 (73-68-71-71=283) Playoff Wales Bradley Dredge
12 22 Jul 2007 The Open Championship −7 (69-73-68-67=277) Playoff Spain Sergio García
13 20 Jul 2008 The Open Championship +3 (74-68-72-69=283) 4 strokes England Ian Poulter
14 10 Aug 2008 PGA Championship −3 (71-74-66-66=277) 2 strokes Spain Sergio García, United States Ben Curtis

European Tour playoff record (4–4)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1999 Linde German Masters Spain Sergio García, Wales Ian Woosnam García won with birdie on second extra hole
Woosnam eliminated with par on first hole
2 2000 Brazil Rio de Janeiro 500 Years Open England Roger Chapman Lost to par on second extra hole
3 2001 Carlsberg Malaysian Open Fiji Vijay Singh Lost to birdie on third extra hole
4 2002 Dunhill Links Championship Argentina Eduardo Romero Won with birdie on second extra hole
5 2003 Deutsche Bank - SAP Open TPC of Europe Denmark Thomas Bjørn Won with par on first extra hole
6 2006 BMW International Open South Africa Retief Goosen, Sweden Henrik Stenson Stenson won with eagle on first extra hole
7 2007 Irish Open Wales Bradley Dredge Won with par on first extra hole
8 2007 The Open Championship Spain Sergio García Won four hole playoff
Harrington (3-3-4-5=15), García (5-3-4-4=16)

PGA Tour wins (5)[edit]

Legend
Major championships (3)
Other PGA Tour (2)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 13 Mar 2005 Honda Classic −14 (73-69-69-63=274) Playoff Fiji Vijay Singh, United States Joe Ogilvie
2 26 Jun 2005 Barclays Classic −10 (71-65-68-70=274) 1 stroke United States Jim Furyk
3 22 Jul 2007 The Open Championship −7 (69-73-68-67=277) Playoff Spain Sergio García
4 20 Jul 2008 The Open Championship +3 (74-68-72-69=283) 4 strokes England Ian Poulter
5 10 Aug 2008 PGA Championship −3 (71-74-66-66=277) 2 strokes Spain Sergio García, United States Ben Curtis

PGA Tour playoff record (2–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 2004 Buick Classic Spain Sergio García, South Africa Rory Sabbatini Garcia won with birdie on third extra hole
Harrington eliminated with par on second hole
2 2005 Honda Classic United States Joe Ogilvie, Fiji Vijay Singh Won with par on second extra hole
Ogilvie eliminated with par on first hole
3 2007 The Open Championship Spain Sergio García Won four hole playoff
Harrington (3-3-4-5=15), García (5-3-4-4=16)

Japan Golf Tour wins (1)[edit]

Asian Tour wins (3)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 24 Nov 2002 BMW Asian Open1 −15 (66-70-68-69=273) 1 stroke India Jyoti Randhawa
2 7 Dec 2003 Omega Hong Kong Open1 −13 (66-75-64-70=275) 1 stroke South Africa Hennie Otto
3 17 Oct 2010 Iskandar Johor Open −20 (64-67-68-69=268) 3 strokes South Korea Noh Seung-yul

1 Co-sanctioned with the European Tour

Other wins (10)[edit]

Major championships[edit]

Wins (3)[edit]

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
2007 The Open Championship 6 shot deficit −7 (69-73-68-67=277) Playoff1 Spain Sergio García
2008 The Open Championship (2) 2 shot deficit +3 (74-68-72-69=283) 4 strokes England Ian Poulter
2008 PGA Championship 3 shot deficit −3 (71-74-66-66=277) 2 strokes Spain Sergio García, United States Ben Curtis

1 Defeated Sergio García in a four-hole playoff by 1 stroke: Harrington (3-3-4-5=15) and García (5-3-4-4=16)

Results timeline[edit]

Tournament 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Masters Tournament DNP DNP DNP DNP T19 T27 T5 CUT T13 CUT T27 T7 T5 T35 CUT CUT T8 CUT DNP
U.S. Open DNP CUT T32 DNP T5 T30 T8 T10 T31 CUT 5 CUT T36 CUT T22 T45 T4 T21 DNP
The Open Championship T18 T5 CUT 29 T20 T37 T5 T22 CUT DNP CUT 1 1 T65 CUT CUT T39 T54 CUT
PGA Championship DNP CUT DNP DNP T58 DNP T17 T29 T45 CUT CUT T42 1 T10 CUT T64 T18 CUT CUT

DNP = did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" = tied for place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.

Summary[edit]

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 2 4 6 14 9
U.S. Open 0 0 0 3 5 7 16 12
The Open Championship 2 0 0 4 4 7 18 12
PGA Championship 1 0 0 1 2 4 15 9
Totals 3 0 0 10 15 24 63 42
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 12 (1999 Open Championship – 2002 PGA)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (2002 Masters – 2002 Open Championship)

Results in World Golf Championship events[edit]

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Accenture Match Play Championship DNP R64 R64 R64 R32 QF R32 QF R32 R32
Cadillac Championship T30 T5 NT1 21 T6 T6 67 T17 T19 DNP
Bridgestone Invitational T12 T27 T17 T47 T39 74 T24 T27 T14 T20
Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Accenture Match Play Championship R64 R64 R64 DNP R64
Cadillac Championship T20 T3 T10 DNP T39
Bridgestone Invitational T2 T9 T59 DNP DNP
HSBC Champions T25 T16 DNP DNP DNP

1Cancelled due to terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001
DNP = Did not play
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
NT = No tournament
Yellow background for top-10.
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

Team appearances[edit]

Amateur

  • Walker Cup (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 1991, 1993, 1995 (winners)

Professional

Awards/Honours[edit]

Facts[edit]

  • Harrington is the only player in the world to have been partnered with Tiger Woods in a tournament five or more times and to outscore him. Harrington has a 68.83 average in six rounds, compared with Woods' average score of 69.50. The rest of the world's top players averaged over 70.
  • In May 2009 he verified that the "Happy Gilmore swing", a swing with a running start, is successful and increased his usual drive of 296 yards by an extra 30 yards.[10]
  • Harrington is the official golfer for FTI Consulting
  • Harrington is an official ambassador of distance learning institution Setanta College

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rosaforte, Tim (15 September 2006). "Paddy's Boy". Golf Digest. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "European Tour Order of Merit – 2006 season". PGA European Tour. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking". Official World Golf Ranking. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Players who have reached the Top Ten in the Official World Golf Ranking since 1986" (PDF). European Tour Official Guide 09 (38th ed.). PGA European Tour. 2009. p. 558. Retrieved 16 January 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Week 29 – Padraig Harrington Retains the Open Championship and Jumps to World Number Three". Official World Golf Ranking. 21 July 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  6. ^ MacGinty, Karl (26 November 2007). "Second son tops off fine year for Padraig". Irish Independent. 
  7. ^ Spousta, Tom (3 March 2005). "Padraig Harrington goes clubbin' in USA". USA Today. 
  8. ^ Maguire, Stephen. "Laser Eye Surgery". The Irish Times. [dead link]
  9. ^ O'Neill, Sean; Hamilton, Fiona. "Want to play like Padraig? Best go for laser surgery". The Sunday Times (London). 
  10. ^ Pennington, Bill (10 May 2009). "Happy Gilmore Was on to Something". The New York Times. 

External links[edit]