Three major championships, 31 professional Tour victories and a four time Ryder Cup winner. Padraig Harrington has had a stellar career as he now embarks on the next chapter as Ryder Cup captain for 2020. By Lewis Blain.

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Padraig Harrington’s Career Timeline

Padraig Harrington will become the third Irish captain of Team Europe in four Ryder Cup matches, but he arguably has had the most distinguished career of them all.

He grew up in Rathfarnham in Dublin, going to the same school as Paul McGinley. He soon took up golf after encouragement from his family. The love for the game and his early development came from playing at Stackstown Golf Club.

Harrington represented Great Britain & Ireland at the Walker Cup on three occasions before winning it in 1995.

The Great Britain and Ireland team during the Walker Cup at Portmarnock Golf Club, 1991. Harrington back middle. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Until his mid-20s, his career looked destined to be in in accountancy but he would turn professional soon after his sole Walker Cup victory before joining the European Tour in 1996.

Related: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Padraig Harrington

It only took him 10 starts on tour to record his first victory which came at the Spanish Open. He would be held in some company as the two previous names to win that tournament were Colin Montgomerie and Seve Ballesteros.

A dry spell of four years would follow despite seven runner-up finishes. But that would still be enough to earn a call-up to the 1999 Ryder Cup squad. Paddy won his singles match on the final day against Mark O’Meara. Team USA made history by overturning a four point deficit to win.

Harrington won a further eight times on Tour and won the Ryder Cup twice in 2002 and 2004 before taking membership with the PGA Tour in 2005.

He would win twice during his debut season, the first coming early in the year at the Honda Classic. Harrington and Jim Furyk dealt many a battle over the years but the Irishman defeated the American to win his second title that year. Going into the final hole tied, he drained a 60ft eagle putt while Furyk could only birdie to claim the Barclays Classic.

Padraig Harrington on the 9th tee in the fourth round of the Barclays Classic in 2005.
(Photo by Chris Condon/PGA)

In 2007, Padraig picked up his first Major title by winning The 136th Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Starting six shots back from overnight leader Sergio Garcia, Harrington stormed up the leaderboard to earn a spot in a playoff with the Spaniard. He would go on to defeat Garcia over the four hole aggregate playoff by one shot.

The following year, 2008, was by far the best of his career – two Major Championships back-to-back and a rise to a career-high third in the Official World Golf Rankings, behind Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

He would first defend the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale with a four stroke victory before becoming victorious in the USPGA Championship at Oakland Hills.

Harrington once again defeated Sergio Garcia down the stretch in a Major to win the 2008 USPGA Championship. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

It would mean the Irishman had won three of the last six major championships.

Harrington started behind the leader going into the final round in all three of his major wins.

Harrington plays up to the 18th green during the final round of the 137th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale Golf Club. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Following on from those Major winers, he then ended 2009 winless which would be his first winless season in a decade.

The 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor would be his sixth and final appearance as a player for Team Europe.

Padraig won two points from his four matches.

It went right down to the final singles match of the tournament where fellow countryman Graeme McDowell defeated Hunter Mahan to secure a 14.5 to 13.5 victory.

Related: Padraig Harrington: What’s In The Bag?

It wouldn’t be until 2015 when Harrington would win his next PGA Tour or European Tour title, claiming the Honda Classic for the second time in his career.

In 2016 he represented Ireland at the Olympic Games finishing in T21, thirteen shots behind gold medallist Justin Rose.

His last win-to-date on Tour came just a few months after the Olympics. An impressive 23-under-par total was enough to win the Portugal Masters by one stroke over Andy Sullivan.

Harrington is tied for 15th on the all-time list of European Tour victories and is one of the most decorated Irish golfers to play the game.

After three consecutive Ryder Cups as vice-captain, Harrington was announced as the next European Ryder Cup captain for 2020 at Whistling Straits.

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