Padraig Harrington Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Childhood And Early Life
Irish professional golf Padraig Harrington was born in Ballyroan, Dublin, Ireland on the 31 August 1971 to Breda and Patrick Harrington. His father, a sportsman who had played Gaelic Football for Cork, also played a five handicap in golf; and Harrington started playing golf at a young age.
Rise To Fame
Padraig Harrington first amateur tournament was the Connacht Boys Championship (1987) where he managed to get into the final. He also finished third in the Irish Boys Close Championship at Grange Golf Club and subsequently won a place on the Irish Boys Team which participated in the Home Internationals at Kilmarnock Barassie Golf Club, Scotland.
In 1988, Harrington was runner-up at the Irish Boys Championship at Birr Golf Club and also won the Leinster Boys Championship at the Royal Tara Golf Club, where he scored four under par 284. At the Home Internationals in August 1988, held at Formby Golf Club in Southport, Harrington won three out of four matches.
In 1989, Padraig Harrington was placed third in the Irish Youths Championships as well as the Connacht Championships. He then finished second at the Leinster Youths Championships at Greystones Golf Club. He played on the Great Britain and Ireland Boys team which beat Europe at the Nairn Golf Club. After winning the Walker Cup with the Great Britain & Ireland team in 1995, Harrington turned professional.
Padraig Harrington's professional career began in September 1995 when, at the age of 24, he turned professional. He participated in the Ryder Cup for the first time in 1999, and he was part of the Ryder Cup winning teams in 2002, 2004 and 2006. In 2005, he won the PGA tour, and in 2006, he won the Order of Merit as the European Tour’s top earner. He won the Irish Open in 2007 as well as the British Open.
In 2008, Harrington successfully defended his Open title and also won his first PGA Championship. He won two British Open Championships, 2007 and 2008 as well a Professional Golfers Association of America Championship (PGA) in 2008.
In 1996, Padraig Harrington won the Peugeot Spanish Open. He subsequently finished second in many European Tour events. He represented Europe in the Ryder Cup in 1999. During the 2001 season, Harrington finished in the top ten of the European Tour’s Order of Merit seven times including second place in 2001 and 2002 and third in 2003 and 2004. He won the Order of Merit in 2006 and 2007; he won the European Tour Golf of the Year award.
The US & World Golf Championship Events
Padraig Harrington won his first professional event in the US at a non-PGA tour hosted by Tiger Woods in 2002, the Target World Challenge. He was runner-up in the Players Championship in 2003 and 2004 and then earned enough on the PGA Tour as a non-member to be invited to the end of season Tour Championship.
He won his first PGA Tour at the Honda Classic in March 1995 and in June 2005, he won the Barclays Classic. He then withdrew from the 2005 Open Championship because of the death of his father.
Between 2001 and 2008, Harrington was listed in the top ten of the Official World Golf Rankings (more than 200 weeks) and was also the highest rank European golfer. He played in the Ryder Cup for Europe five times, winning in 2002, 2004 and 2006; losing in 1999 and 2008. Harrington also won the Augusta National in 2003 (with a tie) and 2004. Then in 2007, Harrington won the Open Championship by defeating Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie, this made him the first Irishman to win the Open Championship in 60 years as well as the first winner ever from the Republic of Ireland.
Padraig Harrington successfully defended his title in 2008. Harrington subsequently moved from 14th to 3rd spot in the world rankings with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in first and second place. Shortly after winning the Open Championship, Harrington won the PGA Championship, becoming the first European to win the PGA Championship in 78 years, as well as the first Irish winner. He became Europe’s number one player and won the number one position in the European Ryder Cup in 2008.
During the 2009 season, Padraig Harrington tied for 5th place at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship and finished six top 10 finishes in the Us. He was placed 3rd at the Portuguese Masters and 4th at the Dubai World Championship. He finished the PGA Tour season in 7th place in the FedEx Cup and 15th in the Race to Duba. He had eight top 10 finishes in 2010 at the European and PGA Tours. He continues playing on both the PGA and European Tours.
Awards And Achievements
In 2007, Padraig Harrington was named the 2007 European Tour Golfer of the Year. He was also the PGA Player of the Year in 2008 as well as the European Tour Golfer of the Year.
Harrington and his wife Caroline have two sons.