Why Harrington's Hall Of Fame Recognition Is Well Deserved

This week we learnt that Padraig Harrington will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in the Class of 2024. Harrington is just the third Irishman to receive the accolade, along with amateur Joe Carr and Christy O'Connor Sr, having decorated the game since turning pro in 1995.

The 51-year-old will be joined by Tom Weiskopf, Sandra Palmer, Beverly Hanson, Johnny Farrell and the seven remaining co-founders of the LPGA not already in the Hall of Fame.

Harrington, who won three majors, 36 times around the world and captained Europe's Ryder Cup team two years ago, was understandably delighted with the news.

"Lots of emotions now it's happened, humbling to be included with the class of 2024, humbling to be included with the people who have gone before me. Lots of those are my heroes and people I would put up on a pedestal so to put up there with them forever is very humbling," said Harrington.

"There's a certain amount of not just joy but satisfaction and validation in the announcement for me. I'm at a stage of my career now, you're looking back at what you did, the world of golf is moving on very quickly so when you do get included in the Hall of Fame it brings that sense of 'I did it', it brings validation to what I did in the past and it's a very nice reminder of the good days that have gone before me.

"I assume I got in based on my wins, I would like to think I got in based on my love of the game and respect for the game, the etiquette, the rules, my love of everything there is about golf."

Golf has been lucky to have Harrington for the past 20-plus years. On top of the playing side he has been one of the greatest talkers and thinkers that we've been lucky enough to listen to. He's a dream for the media. While many players will shut down any question, Harrington will answer your next three along with the original. He gets that they also have a job to do and he makes it so much easier.

Ten minutes with Harrington is of more use, and interest, than half an hour with many of his peers. And 10 minutes with Harrington is very rarely that, with the strong likelihood being that you'll still be chatting away half an hour later.

In one chat about his preparation for The Open he gave a brilliant insight into how he would mentally tune himself into what was to come.

“It would take me two full weeks and the week of the championship to get myself fully mentally focused. I would start working completely on my mental game two weeks out with no technical stuff whatsoever. It would take me that long to shut that bit down and to start reacting rather than thinking too much.

“I would have done the whole day Sunday on the Saturday night, the whole morning onwards. And then the round, at least twice the night before and twice on the Sunday morning. So four times playing every hole, some good, some bad but I will have played every hole. I would have the pin positions and mentally rehearse the whole round."

Maybe Harrington's most iconic moment was recovering from finding the water twice at Carnoustie's 18th hole, and seemingly throwing away the 2007 Open, before getting up and down from short of the burn and then seeing off Sergio Garcia in the play-off.

“Oh, I would picture bad shots. Bob (Rotella) would always make you visualise hitting a bad shot or missing a putt. I have won plenty of tournaments where I have hit one out of bounds but still won so the 18th could be used as a big positive in that if you could mess up a hole as badly as I did on the 72nd hole of The Open and still win then why would you worry about any mistakes?

“It is all spin, you are creating your own reality here. People who don’t believe in this stuff, they sit there and think this doesn’t make logical sense. It has nothing to do with logic, you are creating your own reality to get a better outcome. It doesn’t always work but over time it ends up with a better result.”