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World Rankings Reports Awards continue for Harrington

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Old 12-16-2008, 08:55 AM
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Default World Rankings Reports Awards continue for Harrington

TOUR NEWS: FOR PÁDRAIG Harrington, the accolades keep pouring in; and yesterday, the Dubliner - winner of three of the past six majors, including the British Open and the US PGA this year - received two more gongs, one from the Golf Writers' Association of America and the other from the European-based Association of Golf Writers, writes Philip Reid
Harrington's stock was embellished still further when he was yesterday named Player of the Year by the GWAA, an award he will receive on the eve of his quest for a third major title in a row when he competes in the US Masters in Augusta next April.
It'll be a rare change for the engraver, who has become accustomed to spelling out Mr T Woods on the trophy for more than a decade.
In ending a streak of three in a row for Tiger Woods (who, incidentally, has won the award for nine of the past 11 years), Harrington received 184 votes from the American golf writers to 58 for Woods and five for Vijay Singh. Mexico's Lorena Ochoa was named the Women's Player of the Year for a third straight year, while Jay Haas got the Senior award ahead of Bernhard Langer.
On this side of the Atlantic, Harrington became only the third player to win the AGW's Golf Writers' Trophy in consecutive years, following Tony Jacklin in 1969 and 1970, and Peter Oosterhuis in 1973 and 1974.
Jacklin won the British Open in 1969 and the US Open the following year, while Oosterhuis was in the process of winning the European Tour order of merit four years in a row.
"It just shows how rare it is to peak two years running," said Harrington. "To have one great year and win a Major is fantastic but to follow it up by winning another two Majors this year was beyond anything you could have hoped for."
In winning the Golf Writers' Trophy (capturing over 90 cent of the votes), Harrington added it to the Golfer of the Year award he claimed from the PGA European Tour and his Shot of the Year award for his five-wood approach to the 17th at Royal Birkdale on the way to retaining the claret jug. He became the first player since Colin Montgomerie in 1996 to win all three in the one year.
Harrington, who doesn't intend returning to competition again until the Abu Dhabi Championship next month, is nevertheless back in work mode and has returned to the gym while he had his coach, Bob Torrance, over to Dublin last week to work on his swing.
"My problem is that I can end up being too committed and working too hard, which led to the injury before the Open. But you cannot control everything.
"You need to find the routine that works for you but know when you have done everything you can. After that, you have to go with the flow.
"Next year there is going to be even more attention at the Masters and with the 'Paddy Slam'. But to go into any tournament and win on demand is very special, let alone at a Major. You cannot judge yourself by results in the short term. What if someone else has the week of their life? As long as I stick to the same processes and keep getting myself into contention I am happy to see how it works out."
Rory McIlroy's missed cut in the Alfred Dunhill championship last week saw the Ulster teenager drop one place to 50th in the latest world rankings released yesterday, but he has an opportunity to stay in the world's top-50 and secure an invite to the Masters when he competes in the South African Open at Pearl Valley this week where he is joined by Darren Clarke - down to 68th in the world - Gary Murphy, Damien McGrane, Gareth Maybin and Michael Hoey.
McIlroy is precariously placed heading into the South African Open, just 0.01 points average behind Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng and the same ahead of 51st placed Lin Wen-Tang of Taiwan.
His first priority this week is to survive the cut in South Africa, where the field is headed by Henrik Stenson, Trevor Immelman and Ernie Els as well as Australian Open winner Tim Clark.
World rankings
1 Tiger Woods (USA) 12.57pts
2 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 8.32
3 Phil Mickelson (USA) 7.34
4 Padraig Harrington (Irl) 7.18
5 Vijay Singh (Fij) 6.91
6 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 5.21
7 Camilo Villegas (Col) 5.03
8 Henrik Stenson (Swe) 5.01
9 Ernie Els (Rsa) 4.83
10 Lee Westwood (Eng) 4.73
11 Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 4.60
12 Anthony Kim (USA) 4.59
13 Jim Furyk (USA) 4.49
14 Steve Stricker (USA) 4.06
15 Stewart Cink (USA) 4.01
16 Kenny Perry (USA) 4.00
17 Adam Scott (Aus) 3.98
18 KJ Choi (Kor) 3.93
19 Justin Rose (Eng) 3.84
20 Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 3.49
21 Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 3.47
22 Mike Weir (Can) 3.46
23 Justin Leonard (USA) 3.35
24 Ben Curtis (USA) 3.22
25 Ian Poulter (Eng) 3.20
26 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 3.19
27 Robert Allenby (Aus) 3.16
28 Tim Clark (Rsa) 3.11
29 Ross Fisher (Eng) 2.98
30 Andr-es Romero (Arg) 2.97
31 Luke Donald (Eng) 2.96
32 Rory Sabbatini (Rsa) 2.87
33 Graeme McDowell (NIrl) 2.86
34 Shingo Katayama (Jpn) 2.86
35 Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 2.86
36 Jeev Milkha Singh (Ind) 2.85
37 Stephen Ames (Can) 2.81
38 Stuart Appleby (Aus) 2.73
39 Oliver Wilson (Eng) 2.64
40 Angel Cabrera (Arg) 2.63
50 Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 2.30
68 Darren Clarke (NIrl) 1.92
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