Padraig Harrington believes 'mellowed' Tiger Woods will definitely win another major

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Padraig Harrington believes 'mellowed' Tiger Woods will definitely win another major

PGA Tour

Padraig Harrington believes 'mellowed' Tiger Woods will definitely win another major

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Padraig Harrington has competed against Tiger Woods throughout his career, and he’s seen enough this year to believe that Woods isn’t done winning big.

“I do believe he will win another major,” Harrington said Tuesday at the Honda Classic. “Will he get to 18? I think the odds would be against him getting to 18, but I’d be pretty sure – If you look at any of the great players in the game of golf, they always won a major later in their career. … I do believe he will definitely get another major and his game is good enough to do that.”

Harrington, a three-time major winner, is in the field at PGA National this week alongside Woods and says he’s already seen significant changes from Woods since he returned last December at the Hero World Challenge. Most notably, something jumped out to him earlier this year at Torrey Pines during the Farmers Insurance Open.

“In his heyday he’d walk on that range, nod respectfully at whoever and he’d go do his work,” Harrington said. “He’d have his manager standing right behind him deflecting everyone away from getting near him. (This year) he came on the range at Torrey Pines, he high-fived a few people, had a few chats. Stopped and had a couple of chats with me. He was enjoying himself. No sign of a manager or anything like that. … Clearly he doesn’t have the intensity he had 10 years ago, and that intensity 10 years ago created an aura. He’s mellowed. That’s just the way he has changed.”

Harrington, 46, said he’s changed significantly over the years as well. The two-time Honda Classic champion is trying to relax more and says while he’s always striving to win, he knows winning won’t change how his career is viewed.

As for Tiger, Harrington called him “the best golfer we’ll ever physically see,” and thinks he could have been even better during his prime.

“He’s never going to have the same feel or be as good as he was back in his heyday, and he would have been better in his heyday if he had more good players around to push him,” Harrington said. “He got very conservative after 2001 because he could win with a conservative game. Before that he used to hit some spectacular shots and I think you would have seen more of that if there were more good players around him to keep pushing him. Today he’s like myself. He’s out here, you see him talking and enjoying being out here more and the camaraderie that’s out here more, whereas back in the day it was very much business.”

Woods is set to tee off with Patton Kizzire and Brandt Snedeker at 7:45 a.m. Thursday in Round 1, with Harrington beginning his round at 12:45 p.m. alongside Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott.


More Golfweek