Padraig Harrington spent 13 months confounding the golf world between the months of July 2007 and August 2008 when he won two Opens and a US PGA. Nobody from the Republic of Ireland had ever won the Open before the Dubliner lifted the Claret Jug at Carnoustie; winning back-to-back Opens is as rare as hen’s teeth, while two major triumphs within a month is not exactly commonplace either.
But Harrington always gives the impression that the best way to get him to do something is to tell him it can’t be done.
In truth he had a few wobbles before landing his first major, including at Carnoustie’s 72nd before he won the play-off. But then Harrington became a by-word for steely resolve. He battled through a wrist injury to win brilliantly at Birkdale the following year, when a fantastic five-wood to three feet at the par 5 17th wrapped up a four-shot rout. And then he recovered from being five over par on the first two days at the US PGA at Oakland Hills to land his third major three weeks later by two shots
There are few golfers the rest of the field would less like breathing down the necks in the home stretch at Lytham.
And now, after dips in form which have seen the 40-year-old drop down to 75 in the world rankings, Harrington is back, right up there contending on the final day in both the US Masters and the US Open at Olympic Club, where he was within one good approach shot at the last of getting into a play-off with Webb Simpson.
Woods, McIlroy, Donald and Westwood may all be ahead of him in the Open betting, but Padraig Harrington may once more be the one they all have to beat.
Don’t forget to head over to Betfair for all the US Open betting odds as well as the new Betfair Open championship betting microsite, with all the latest news, odds, tips and previews.