“Pádraig was the one who made us believe we could do it” says Rory

Ronan MacNamara

Padraig Harrington (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Rory McIlroy believes Pádraig Harrington’s major championship run between 2007 and 2008 opened the floodgates for other Irish players to strive for major glory.

Harrington won back to back Open championships at Carnoustie and Royal Birkdale before winning the 2008 PGA Championship.

McIlroy went on to win four majors between 2011 and 2014 while Graeme McDowell (2010 US Open) and Darren Clarke (2011 Open) claimed maiden major championships. Shane Lowry broke through at the 2019 Open in Royal Portrush.

“That run of golf that he went on in 2007 and 2008 winning back to back Open Championships and winning the PGA Championship. He really kickstarted this whole Irish golf movement, fast forward a couple of years and Darren Clarke wins the Open Championship, Shane wins the Open, I’ve won a couple more before that,” said McIlroy.

“Pádraig was the one who made us all believe that we could do it that we could follow in his footsteps and win major championships.”

Harrington will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday after a career that saw him win 15 times on the European Tour, six times on the PGA Tour and play on four winning Ryder Cup teams for Europe and McIlroy says he is entirely deserving of his hall of fame status.

“If anyone talks about Pádraig, he’s the ultimate pro. I know he has hit way more balls than I have in my life and I will never catch up to him. He just loves golf, he loves everything about it, he loves trying to improve.

“I couldn’t think of a better person to be in the Hall of Fame.”

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