Padraig Harrington, 49, already has eyes for Champions Tour

Ryan Lavner
·1 min read

Padraig Harrington doesn’t turn 50 until next summer, but he has made no secret about his future plans.

“Possibly even before the PGA Tour scores, I look at the Champions Tour scores,” he said Thursday at the Bermuda Championship, where he opened with a 4-under 67. “I don’t know what that tells you.”

It tells us that Harrington, who turns 50 next August, is ready to finally become eligible for the senior circuit. The Irishman last won on the PGA Tour in 2015, and on the European circuit in 2016, and his game has taken a back seat the past few years because of his responsibilities as the upcoming European Ryder Cup captain.

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But the Champions Tour? That would help satisfy his competitive urges.

“I would play where I think I could win and that’s it,” he said. “So if I don’t think I can win out there, I won’t play here. I’m not here to turn out – I’m here to try and win, and wherever I’m playing, in my head, I think I can win. I’m kind of aware that if you go to the Champions Tour, you don’t come back.”

It’s no guarantee that Harrington would come out and dominate the over-50 set, like Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson have done. Indeed, Harrington readily admits that distance won’t be a problem at another level – it’d be his proficiency on the greens. Especially with 54-hole winning scores around 20 under par.

“I have seen a few guys go to the Champions Tour and they seem to have a miraculous cure for their putting,” he said. “I’m hoping that happens to me.”