10 Apr 2023

Padraig Harrington – A look back at his Hall of Fame career

Last month the World Golf Hall of Fame confirmed former European Number One Padraig Harrington would become the third Irishman to be inducted as part of its Class of 2024.

The 51-year-old is a three-time Major champion, having won back-to-back Open Championships as well as adding the US PGA Championship during a 13-month spell in 2007 and 2008. 

“This is very exciting, obviously huge honour,” said Harrington. “It’s somewhat humbling. At this stage of my life, it gives me some validation to what I’ve done in golf.

“Brings back a flood of memories. This is a deep-down satisfaction, and I’m very proud to be included with the players before me.”

“Seeing your name beside the names that I’ve looked up to as a boy and young golfer, it’s very nice.

“Everybody on the ballot deserves to be there. It’s unfortunate that everyone can’t be in, but it’s great to be included in the Class of 2024.”

Here, we take a look at some of the most memorable moments from Harrington’s illustrious  career, from winning the Walker Cup as an amateur to securing 36 worldwide titles.

1995

Harrington got his hands on the Walker Cup at the third time of asking after GB&I defeated USA 14-10 at Royal Porthcrawl Golf Club in Wales.  The Irishman secured three points that week, including a 2&1 victory over Tiger Woods and John Harris in the Sunday foursomes alongside compatriot Jody Flanagan.


1996

After securing his DP World Tour playing privileges through Qualifying School the year before, Harrington won on just his tenth start at the Spanish Open, beating Gordon Brand Jnr by four strokes. He went on to finish the season ranked 11th in the then Order of Merit, just losing out to Thomas Bjorn for the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award.


1999

With three runner-up finishes in 1999, Harrington qualified for that year’s Ryder Cup in what become known as the ‘Battle of Brookline’. He picked up a half point alongside Miguel Angel Jiménez in the opening foursomes before the duo teamed up again the following day in a defeat to Woods and Stephen Pate. Harrington finished the week by defeating Mark O’Meara on the final day, one of just three European victories, as the Americans secured a 14.5 – 13.5 triumph on home soil.


2000 – 2002

Harrington returned to the winner’s circle in 2000 with victories in Sau Paulo and Madrid, before picking up his fourth DP World Tour title the following year at the season-ending Volvo Masters in 2001, which saw him finish second on the Order of Merit. In 2002, he once again qualified for the Ryder Cup after winning the Dunhill Links Championship. This time around Harrington ended up on the winning team with Europe securing a three point victory at the Belfry to regain the trophy.


2003 – 2004

The Irishman won four times on the DP World Tour between the 2002-2003 season opener at the BMW Asian Open and the Linde German Masters in 2004, helping Harrington secure a third consecutive Ryder Cup outing at Oakland Hills Country Club. The European team broke records, defeating the USA by nine points – the largest winning margin by a European team in the event’s history.


2005 – 2006

Harrington took up PGA Tour membership for the first time in 2005 and was quick to secure his first  win at the Honda Classic, overcoming Vijay Singh and Joe Ogilvie in a play-off. He proceeded to pick up a second title in the States later that year at the Barclays Classic, before collecting a tenth DP World Tour title in 2006 with a second victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Harrington went on to win the 2006 Order of Merit in Europe after Sergio Garcia bogeyed the 72nd hole of the season-ending Volvo Masters, ensuring Harrington would finish in a share of second place which earned him enough money to leapfrog Paul Casey in the Rankings. Harrington and the European team also regained the Ryder Cup after equaling their record winning margin of two years earlier.


2007 – 2008

Harrington enjoyed the best spell of his career between 2007-2008, picking up three Major Championship trophies and being crowned European Tour Golfer of the Year twice. After becoming the first home winner of the Irish Open in 25 years, he went on to pick up the Claret Jug following a four-hole play-off at Carnoustie Golf Links, before successfully defending his Open Championship title the following year at Royal Birkdale. Just three weeks after his second Major title, Harrington added a third at the PGA Championship, becoming the first European to win the tournament in 78 years. He went on to represent Europe for a fourth time at the Ryder Cup but failed to pick up any points as the USA ended the streak of three successive European victories.


2010

Having gone winless since his PGA Championship victory and struggling with inconsistency on the PGA Tour, Harrington was a surprise and controversial Captain’s Pick from Colin Montgomerie for the Ryder Cup. However, Europe reclaimed the trophy with Harrington providing two points en route to a one point victory at Celtic Manor.


2015 – 2016

Despite a big drop in form and finishing outside the top 60 of the Race to Dubai and outside of the top 130 on the FedExCup in 2013 and 2014, Harrington returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in seven years with a second victory at the 2015 Honda Classic. The following year he represented Ireland at the Olympic Games, finishing in a share of 21st, before picking up a 15th DP World Tour title at the Portugal Masters.


2021

Harrington was named European Ryder Cup Captain in 2019, but would have to wait two years until leading the team out at Whistling Straits following the postponement of the event due to the covid-19 pandemic. He probably wished he had a bit longer after the USA romped to a record ten point triumph to win back-to-back editions on home soil for the time since 1979 and 1983.


2022

After turning 50, Harrington started playing his trade on the PGA Tour Champions, quickly becoming a four-time winner on the circuit. The very first of those was a Senior Major Championship with a one-stroke victory over Steve Stricker at the U.S. Senior Open, before adding three more in the space of four months to finish second in the season-long Charles Schwab Cup.

Share this article
Swing Sequence

Wyndham Clark Swing Sequence

By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Professional, Pete Cowen Academy One of the...

Xander Schauffele swing sequence

By Jonathan Craddock, PGA Professional, Pete Cowen Academy Xander Schauffele has...

Related articles

Upbeat McIlroy Ready for US Open After Marital Reconciliation

Rory McIlroy’s upbeat mindset ahead of this week’s US Open at...

U.S. Open Preview – Who will claim the year’s third Major?

The third Major of men’s schedule gets underway this month with...

Surviving Summer – How Courses Cope With The Heat

Words: Will Kent Photography: Provided by Stuart & Getty Images The...

Kiaan Keeps On Winning – UAE’s Latest Jnr Star

Photography & words by Will Kent Eight-year-old Kiaan Maharaj has become...

Gaudet rings the changes for women’s golf

Elisa Gaudet, Founder of Women’s Golf Day, talks exclusively to Rick...

Masters Green Jacket Thief Charged

A former warehouse assistant at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia...