Harrington scoops European Tour honour

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The Independent Online

Padraig Harrington believes he is well positioned to go on and win more majors after shedding his image as one of the sport's bridesmaids.

The 37-year-old Dubliner, today named European Tour golfer of the year for the second successive year, confirmed himself as one of the best golfers around last July when he finally broke his Major duck, claiming the Open title at Carnoustie.

And he followed up that achievement this year in eye-catching fashion, becoming the first European to successfully defend the Open title since 1906 in July and, just three weeks later, the first to capture the US PGA since 1930.

While Harrington knows he had a reputation as one of the game's under-achievers, he puts that down to his high level of consistency rather than any failure on his part.

"That was certainly an image I had," he told Sky Sports News. "It was more to do with the fact I was in contention an awful lot of time.

"In that period I gained the experience to win those majors. In the last years I've focused on the majors and tried to peak for those events.

"I've got a good understanding of my game and to win three of the last six is a bonus.

"I feel I can go on and win more majors in the future."

Although Harrington appeared to be riding the crest of a wave going into the US PGA, Harrington believes his Open success gave him another hurdle to overcome.

"It was a hindrance going into the PGA," he said. "(The Open win) was very satisfying, I played well, hit the ball well - how you dream of winning the event, I won it that way.

"When you've such a big high it's hard to get back, get yourself focused, get yourself ready and the first couple of rounds, I fell short.

"When I did get into contention it was a big plus because i felt really comfortable in that situation."

Harrington brushed of the suggestion of European Tour chief executive that he was now "the greatest sportsman in Ireland's history".

Harrington said: "People have tried to get that debate going and I won't get involved for the simple reason that I'm not finished.

"Hopefully in 20 years' time I will look back and savour all the things I've done but at the moment I'm focussing on playing and getting better and winning more majors."