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Page last updated at 12:37 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 13:37 UK

Harrington sets 'exclusive' goals

Padraig Harrington poses with the Open trophy on Monday
Harrington has joined an elite list of multiple major winners

Padraig Harrington will set himself new career goals as he adjusts to his new status as a multiple major winner.

The Irishman has leapt 11 places to a new personal high of third in the world after claiming his second Open title.

"Winning my first major was incredible and my goal then was to win another one," he said. "I'm thrilled it's come so quickly but I have to look forward.

"There are some exclusive clubs in golf I am going to focus on joining. Three majors first, also a different major."

Harrington is only the seventh European player in the modern era to have won two or more majors, following Tony Jacklin (two), Seve Ballesteros (five), Sandy Lyle (two), Nick Faldo (six), Bernhard Langer (two) and Jose Maria Olazabal (two).

Another one would see him draw level with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh in a worldwide context.

That trio, along with Mark O'Meara and Retief Goosen, are the only others apart from Harrington to have won two or more majors since Tiger Woods started dominating golf with the first of his 14 in 1997.

Last year it was far too much far too quickly - I don't think it's going to be like that this year

Padraig Harrington
"There are loads of levels to move up to, and I must keep pushing on," said Harrington, who left a celebration party at 4am following his triumph on Sunday.

"No matter whether I succeed or not, you need clear and attainable goals to retain the intensity."

Only Woods and Mickelson are now above the Dubliner, who became the first European since James Braid in 1906 to retain the Open, in the world rankings.

Harrington, 37 next month, has also moved to the top of the European Ryder Cup standings, his Open victory bringing a winner's cheque of £750,000.

"I checked my computer while I was eating my porridge this morning and it is nice that someone else has to worry about that now," he said.

606: DEBATE
Iain Carter - BBC Sport
"The Ryder Cup is very entertaining once youíre in the team, but when you are not it is a tough process. Now Iím there I can enjoy the next couple of months watching other guys playing their hearts out trying to get in."

One of those will be Ian Poulter, whose runner-up finish at Royal Birkdale propelled him from 42nd to 23rd in the world rankings, and up to 12th in the Ryder Cup standings, just outside the automatic qualifying spots.

"I think with his confidence and form it's inevitable Ian will play his way in from here," Harrington said of Poulter. "He's shown he is a big-time player and that's the type you want in the Ryder Cup."

I'm looking forward to the USPGA - I'll have to be disciplined in some areas, but I should be ready

Padraig Harrington
Harrington, who said the wrist problem which threatened to keep him out of the Open requires no further treatment, will take a week off to rest after his Open exploits.

He will head to America next week for the Bridgestone World Championships event in Ohio starting on 31 July, and then the final major of the year, the USPGA at Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan, starting on 7 August.

Last season Harrington followed up his Carnoustie triumph with a 42nd place finish in the USPGA, 16 strokes behind winner Tiger Woods.

But he believes he is better placed to handle the increased expectations now than he was 12 months ago.

"Last year it was far too much far too quickly - I don't think it's going to be like that this year," he added.

"It was a blur. This is more satisfying, but I don't believe I'm going to be as mentally hit.

"It's a more solid win and the high isn't the same. I'm looking forward to the PGA - I'll have to be disciplined in some areas, but I should be ready."




see also
European Ryder Cup rankings
21 Jul 08 |  Golf


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