Padraig Harrington is an undisputed legend of the golfing world. The Dublin-born player turned professional in 1996 and has won an abundance of major honours as an individual and as part of a team.
Harrington has a strong claim to being the greatest Irish player of all time due to his incredible longevity in the sport. He is well into his 27th season in professional golf, which is a career length that a majority of the legends of the game have not gotten near.
The Ryder Cup
Some of the biggest successes of Harrington’s career have come in the Ryder Cup, but most recently the Dublin golfer captained Team Europe to a disappointing loss in 2021. For the 2023 event, he has not made the cut and will have to watch his team’s endeavours from afar. In golf bets, Europe are a slight outsider to achieve revenge in this year’s competition offered at 5/4.
Harrington however believes that Europe are incredibly strong and will have a great chance of success despite his absence in Rome. When speaking at the Irish Open he said that Europe’s top players are the best players in the world.
If anyone knows about the history of the prestigious competition and what it takes to win it, it is the legendary Harrington. He won the competition a remarkable four times spread across 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010. His Ryder Cup success is not comparable to any other Irishman’s impact in the competition – the man from Dublin stands alone as the most successful man from his nation.
Harrington was regularly making Ryder Cup teams throughout his prime, which extended throughout the 2000s. He only appeared in two competitions where he did not win. In 2021, he was a non-playing captain which perhaps placed a bad omen on the team, but ultimately he was far past his peak playing days.
Individual Major Successes
The 2007 to 2008 period represented the overall peak of Harrington’s individual career. In that timeframe, he won the Open Championship back-to-back – a feat which has only been matched in the past 30 years by the great Tiger Woods.
The Irishman also won the PGA Championship in 2008, by just two strokes over runners-up Sergio Garcia and Ben Curtis.
Harrington’s successes over those two years also earned him many additional accolades. In 2007, he collected the European Tour Golfer of the Year and the Association of Golf Writers’ Player of the Year. His remarkable efforts were recognised by significant individuals within the game and by the media.
In 2008, he claimed an even wider array of individual awards. He retained both the awards of the previous year and added a PGA Player of the Year award amongst several other key acknowledgements.
Harrington’s accolades speak for themselves; he is comfortably the greatest golfing talent to ever emerge from Dublin. He reached his peak potential in his prime years and has gone on to reach an extraordinary level of career longevity.
At the age of 52, he still represents his home nation and home city specifically in major competitions on numerous tours – he has not finished writing his legacy on the game just yet.