When Padraig Harrington won the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie it was a wonderful achievement, but it was tempting to assume that we had watched the crowning achievement of a good tour player’s career. After all, the previous European winner, Paul Lawrie, had rarely challenged in major championships after his 1999 victory. However the Irishman proved himself to be of much higher calibre when this year he repeated his triumph and claimed back to back titles. Now Harrington has raised the bar yet further and less than a month later secured the USPGA Championship at Oakland Hills.
Harrington’s achievement is astonishing and quite simply it has elevated himself into golf’s pantheon. With Tiger Woods injury ongoing, Team Europe will be able to claim the world’s best golfer when it clashes with the Americans this September. Winning the Open Championship is one thing, winning a major in America is another, to do both within the space of a month – such an accomplishment is reserved for the very best.