For a brief moment a few days ago, it looks as though Padraig Harrington was about to mount an unlikely challenge at the PGA Championship.
A winner of the event back in 2008, the Dublin has the right to participate in the tournament every year. In saying that, few would expect him to be a contender in one of golf's four majors now that he is in 50s. Despite this, he put a real run together on Friday and found himself inside the top ten.
Pádraig Harrington knows how to get the gallery going. #PGAChamp pic.twitter.com/SvSS4SizHe
— PGA Championship (@PGAChampionship) May 20, 2023
Unfortunately, a poor round on Saturday soon took him out the equation once again.
At 51-years old, Harrington best chance at picking up wins now comes on the Champions Tour. He won four times on that tour in 2022, including the US Senior Open in June.
In saying that, he believes that he still has all the tool to compete at the very top of the sport.
Padraig Harrington still has major ambitions
History is not on Padraig Harrington's side when it comes to his chances of winning another major. The oldest winner of one of golf's biggest events was Phil Mickelson at 50 year and 11 months, a window the Irishman no longer falls within. As well as this, it is likely that his only appearances each year will come in The Open and PGA Championship as a former champion in both.
Despite his last victory on that stage coming 15 years ago, he does have a more recent track record of good performances. He came in fourth position at the PGA Championship as recently as 2021.
Speaking after his final round yesterday, Harrington said he was still capable of competing at these events, although there was one thing stopping him from doing so.
There’s nothing physical about me competing in this environment. It’s all mental...
Look, I have all the answers, but I don’t put them into play. I get distracted by shiny things and don’t do the right things at times.
I do actually know the answers and coming here this week, I’ve got to believe a little bit more in myself and trust myself and, again, just not be seeking perfection as much as I do...
I still see myself as a player. I like trying to win tournaments, and that’s why I like being on the Champions Tour. I can play more events on the Champions Tour because I can play in a cart.
It is a genuine struggle for me to do 72 holes, you know, walking-wise.
It would be amazing to see Padraig Harrington make another run at a major at some point in the coming years.
However, time is not on his side.