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Pádraig Harrington and family celebrate at Golf Hall of Fame

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There’s nothing like the security you feel with the support of family, and Pádraig Harrington isn’t shy about crediting them for his success.

As the Dubliner was inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday he paid tribute to his caddie Ronan Flood, who is also his brother-in-law married to wife Caroline’s sister Susie, for helping him win the Open in 2007.

Taking to the stage in a room packed with his family and friends as well as other golfing greats including Shane Lowry, Pádraig reminisced about how he almost threw away his first Championship win 17 years ago.

Padraig Harrington with friends and family. Pic: Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Pádraig told of his embarrassment on the daywhen at the 72nd hole he hit his second ball in the water and he believed he had ‘thrown away the Open’, but Ronan stuck to his guns.

‘[He] started into the clichés, “It’s not over yet”, “one shot at a time” and so on. I think he took the fore iron off me pretty quickly because I am not sure if I would not have a swing at him with it!’ Pádraig joked.

He continued: ‘But we kept walking, he kept doing his job and he got in my head as I walked up to take my penalty drop. And by the time I played my fifth shot, I hit it like a teenager, I was right back in the zone.’

The golfer said that from the moment he lifted the Claret Jug in 2007 he credited Ronan for keeping him focused and not losing faith. ‘It took about three months, I think before he was in the room and heard me tell the story and he let me tell it and he stood up at the end, acknowledged that while he said all those things he also thought I’d lost the f***ing Open,’ he laughed.

Padraig Harrington of Ireland with his caddy Ronan Flood Pic: Sportsfile

That win was just one of a number of titles Pádraig secured in his hugely successful career.

At the ceremony in North Carolina, the three-time major winner joined 19-time LPGA winner Sandra Palmer as the only living inductees at the ceremony.

Padraig Harrington with Shane Lowry. Pic: Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images
Padraig Harrington with Shane Lowry. Pic: Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

As well as his devoted wife Caroline, who looked sensational in a hot pink dress with her platinum blonde hair worn poker straight in a side parting, Pádraig’s sons Patrick and Ciaran also attended the ceremony.

Pádraig said that the honour brings him a ‘deep sense of satisfaction and validation’. But he said it was fate that he got involved inin the sport. ‘I’m not sure whether I loved the game or the game loved me because it was truly great to me,’ he said.

Padraig Harrington poses with family and guests. Pic: Alex Slitz/Getty Images
Padraig Harrington poses with family and guests. Pic: Alex Slitz/Getty Images

‘I loved the fact it was never meant to be a fair game. It was always meant to be a test of skill and mental fortitude. I loved the rules; I loved the etiquette; I loved the competition.

‘Probably ultimately, I loved the meritocracy of it, that you’re out there on your own, no one else decides your fate, and it’s up to you to get it done,’ he said.

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