Padraig Harrington Off To A Good Start In 2013

By Les Bailey
Padraig Harrington
Kyle Terada-US Presswire

Padraig Harrington has spent the last 18 months in an effort to re-vamp his golf game, and whatever he has done seems to be working. The 41-year old Irishman who was born, and still lives in Dublin has underwent corrective surgery on his eyes, and has been on the road to recovery since winning the World Series of Golf during the off season.

Harrington made his PGA Tour 2013 debut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week, and after playing in the final group on Sunday, finished in a tie for ninth place. He shot an -8 under par on Saturday, earning him the right to play with Phil Mickelson, and Brandt Snedeker on Sunday. Paddy got off to a nice start with two early birdies, but started spraying his driver, and was unable to right the ship, falling off the leaderboard.

The 47th-best player in the world rankings got off to a great start on the European Tour, finishing the season-ending DP World Tour Championships, Dubai tied ninth. He made his first 2013 start at the Volvo Championship, where he finished fourth. He finished T23 at the HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi before making the trip to the US. He is currently 19th in Race To Dubai points.

Padraig Harrington was the first European player to ever win back-to-back majors. His 2008 British Open win was the first successful defense of the Claret Jug since 1906. He also won back to back British Opens in 2007, and 2008. He won the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, after wining the British Open at Royal Birkdale. His 2007 British Open win came at Carnoustie.

Harrington, who constantly tinkers with his swing, and golf game will tee it up on Thursday at the Pebble Beach National Pro Am. He appears to have found something that will carry him through the midpoint of his career. Padraig has always hit the ball a country mile, and is still erratic off the tee at times. The success of his game is the same as all the pros, if he’s making putts, the TV cameras will find him. He wore glasses for the first time in a practice round at Phoenix, and the speculation is that he will eventually wear them full time when he gets used to them.

Padraig Harrington is one of my favorite players from Europe. I had projected that he would win the British Open last year, but he didn’t fare well at Royal Lytham St. Anns. We’ll see how he does this weekend at Monterey.

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