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Page last updated at 23:46 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Hungry Harrington targets Masters

Padraig Harrington with his Open and USPGA Championship trophies
Harrington's double success lifted him to third in the world rankings

Padraig Harrington has revealed he will be making changes to his game in readiness for an assault on the US Masters title in April.

Ireland's Open and USPGA champion was speaking after winning the European Tour Golfer of the Year award for the second straight season.

"I have some serious gym work to do, and I also have some swing changes to make," said the 37-year-old Dubliner.

"The day I think that [my game cannot be improved] is the day I'll retire."

Harrington became the first European to successfully defend the Open title since 1906 in July and then just three weeks later was the first to capture the USPGA since 1930.

"When I come out next year I will be focused on getting my game ready for every week and building up for the Masters at Augusta," he said.

"I know the Masters will be the hardest major for me to win because of the attention that will be on me.

"It is a lot easier to go into these things with a little less profile and stay patient for two or three days under the radar and finish it off on Sunday.

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"But I won't have that luxury at Augusta because right from the word go there will be focus on me."

If he was to win in April, Harrington would be only the US Open away from emulating Tiger Woods' feat in 2001 of holding all four major titles at the same time.

Harrington, whose five wood to 4ft for an eagle on the penultimate hole at Royal Birkdale last week landed him the Tour's Shot of the Year award, rose to third in the world with his astonishing double.

His closest rival for the European Tour award was Robert Karlsson, who became the first Swede to win the Order of Merit and then combined with Henrik Stenson to win the World Cup.

But Karlsson had no complaints, saying: "It's a long time ago since any European player won two majors in a season [Nick Faldo in 1990] and, for that alone, there is no doubt that Padraig is Golfer of the Year.

"There have been many guys expected to win major championships, but Padraig did it twice in one year - that is fantastic for him and for Europe."



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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
The Sun Padraig's push for a jacket - 21 hrs ago
Sporting Life HARRINGTON: I CAN WIN MORE MAJORS - 30 hrs ago
CNN Harrington lands Europe's top golf award - 40 hrs ago
Sky Sports Harrington - More to come - 42 hrs ago
PGA European Tour Harrington named The European Tour Golfer of the Year - 42 hrs ago


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