Pádraig Harrington says he can’t overestimate the role that his caddie, Ronan Flood played in his latest Champions tour success after the Dubliner claimed victory at the DICK’s Sporting Goods Open.
Harrington’s second victory of the season has propelled him to second on the Charles Schwab money-list and although it looked like he cruised to his latest three-shot win, Harrington says it was anything but, crediting Flood for keeping his emotions in check during a stressful finale.
“It wouldn’t be cool, calm, collected, I’d be stressed,” Harrington said.
“Wouldn’t be necessarily nerves, it would be just stress and just trying to keep myself not overthinking things. I have to be very careful about that.
“My caddie, that’s very much the job he has to do is keep you on an even keel out there, don’t get too excited when things are going too well and you don’t get down on yourself unnecessarily.
“I can’t overestimate what the caddie does out there. I don’t think most people really realise how much work they really have to put in in keeping their player on an even keel.”
If you didn’t know it, Harrington’s caddie also happens to be his brother-in-law. The pair began working together in 2004 and Flood has since guided Harrington to four Major wins, three on the regular tour and one in over-50’s company this year at the U.S. Senior Open.
The pair are actually childhood friends having played junior golf together at Stackstown but while Harrington has grabbed the headlines for his golf ever since, Flood has been an invaluable aid; a caddie Harrington believes to be the very best in the business.
“I have 100% confidence and faith in my caddie,” Harrington said pre-tournament last week.
“I believe I have the best caddie in the world. Getting the numbers and yardages is only a tiny, tiny bit of it. Ronan is quite forthright with his opinion. He doesn’t believe he’s right all the time which is very important.
“I can’t deal with somebody who is always trying to cover up. We make a decision. I know the buck stops with me. I take his opinion on board. I make a decision and we go with it.
“It’s never his fault but it’s never really anyone’s fault. You make a decision with your best interests at heart and you have to go with it.”
Since 2004, the partnership has been a fruitful one but the pair’s relationship seems set to take on new life as it begins to dominate the over-50’s sphere. Together, they have made 13 cuts from 13 starts this season, with 7 top-10s, including 4 second place finishes and two wins, banking over $2million in the process.
Harrington, however, believes that no matter what he goes on to achieve in senior golf, his legacy, alongside Flood, will remain unchanged.
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) August 21, 2022
“Golf is a very odd sport. It’s how you did in your last event is always what you think about, how you played your last round, how you hit your last shot,” he says.
“Yeah, I’ve had an incredibly successful career all the way through. This is a new chapter. Every time you tee it up, you want to win that week and it’s new, it’s different and it’s a different battle.
“I’m never going to change my legacy in golf, even going out and winning another major wouldn’t change my legacy in golf, so I’m not going to change that, but I can enjoy the moment.
“Winning any tournament, test yourself, putting yourself out there and learning is the key.”