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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 08:23 GMT 09:23 UK
Harrington to donate USPGA cheque
Padraig Harrington
Darren Clarke urged Harrington to play at Medinah
Padraig Harrington will donate his winnings in this week's USPGA Championship to breast cancer research following the death of Heather Clarke.

Harrington had considered pulling out of the season's final major after the death of Darren Clarke's wife.

However, Clarke made it clear that he wanted his friends not to withdraw from the event at Medinah although close friend Paul McGinley has pulled out.

"Darren made it clear he wanted the players to play," said Harrington.

Graeme McDowell, Thomas Bjorn and Lee Westwood had also considered pulling out of this week's event but they will play at Medinah following Clarke's comments.

Harrington was given the sad news as he boarded a plane to Chicago and contemplated flying back home immediately for the funeral later this week.

"Travelling over here I wasn't too sure what the situation was going to be," Harrington told the Irish Independent.

"I think my decision would be different if I was still at home but in view of what Darren has said, I've decided to stay.

"He has made it a lot easier for everybody, as he always would.

My mum and dad are quite close to Darren's mum and dad, so I thought 'Will I go back or will I not?'

Graeme McDowell

"I am going to donate all my prize money this week to breast cancer research, which is the charity they have nominated instead of flowers and things like that.

"So, hopefully, I'll do some good by being here, whereas being there, I probably wouldn't be able to do much - it's one of those situations."

McDowell, who like Heather is from Portrush, admitted he wrestled with his conscience before deciding to following Clarke's advice.

"My mum and dad are quite close to Darren's mum and dad, so I thought 'Will I go back or will I not?'

"It was a tough one and I'm sure it was very tough on Lee (Westwood) too as this is a tournament he didn't want to miss."

Clarke's close friend and neighbour McGinley immediately withdrew from the event to attend the funeral, which is likely to be held in Portrush later this week.

McGinley's decision could hurt his chances of making the European team for next month's Ryder Cup near Dublin.

He currently holds the 10th and final qualifying place on Europe's points table with four events left to count, and could be overtaken.



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