Pádraig Harrington has always been known as a fierce competitor and if anything, that competitive spirit has only been enhanced on the Champions Tour.
Not satisfied to ride off into the sunset with his three major championships and enjoy a cushy life on the seniors circuit, Harrington still has PGA Tour wins in his sights but his number one goal for 2022? Win the Charles Schwab Cup.
With the absence of leader Steven Alker from the Constellation Furyk and Friends this week, the 51-year-old has the opportunity to steal a march and hit the front for the first time this weekend.
“I want to win the Schwab Cup. There’s about five of us in real contention. I didn’t understand how it worked with double points over the last three weeks. It really is everything to play for. I think the best any of us can do is get ourselves in that leading position, but it will come down to those three double points events and probably come down to the last event.
“Hopefully I’ll be in enough of a position that a win would certainly win it if you know what I mean. So that means you would have to be within 400,000 of the leader and ideally you would be more than 400,000 so that if even if somebody won, they can’t pass you if you finish second. They probably got the system right. It will lead to a lot of drama and come right down to the wire.”
The 2020 European Ryder Cup captain has won three times on the Champions Tour this year including the Senior US Open while he also has four second places and two further top-4 finishes.
Harrington is without a regular tour win since 2016 which could explain why he has only played eight times in favour of becoming a winning machine on the Champions Tour.
His 2023 schedule will accommodate more regular tour events as he hunts another title and while it is still clear that he can compete with the younger guys he has an obsession with winning – moral victories won’t do.
“I would prefer to win here than finish second at a PGA Tour event. You know, winning is winning, there’s something about it. OK, it’s a smaller pool out here and, you know, you can look at it like that, but the fact of the matter is putting yourself under pressure out there and having to hit the shots when people are watching when it counts is what’s exciting.
“I wouldn’t remember a top-10, but I’ll remember a win out here on the Champions Tour.
“Winning is winning and that’s it, there’s nothing else of any relevance. And it’s very bad for your golf to take satisfaction out of, which I often see somebody finishing 10th and they say “well done.” I’m absolutely raging. If somebody tells me “well done” for finishing 17th last week, I’m raging with them.”
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