Howard’s way helps Padraig to award

THREE-time major champion Padraig Harrington, who for several years was taught by Lancashire-based Howard Bennett, the former Shaw Hill and Duxbury Park pro and Irish coach, is the 2014 recipient of the PGA Recognition Award for his outstanding contribution to golf.

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PRIZE GUY: Padraig receives the award from PGA captain Neil-Selwyn-Smith

The Dubliner, who returned to the winner’s rostrum with his victory in the recent Indonesian Open, picked up the accolade at the PGA’s annual fundraiser at the Grosvenor House Hotel.

Harrington has scaled the heights of world golf with back-to-back Open Championship victories at Carnoustie in 2007 and Royal Birkdale a year later.
He also held off the challenge of Sergio Garcia to land the USPGA Championship at Oakland Hills in 2008 to become the first European to win back-to-back Major Championships.
The three-time Walker Cup player turned professional in 1995 and has chalked up 14 European Tour victories plus several more worldwide.
In addition he has enjoyed huge success in the Ryder Cup, making six appearances, helping Europe to four wins – the last in 2010.
Harrington was also a vice captain to fellow Irishman Paul McGinley at Gleneagles and is widely touted as a future captain.
Away from the fairways he has been equally dedicated, establishing the Padraig Harrington Charitable Foundation, becoming an  ambassador for both the R&A and Special Olympics and also supporting a number of charities including the Oesophageal Cancer Fund and the 3Ts.
PGA chief executive Sandy Jones said: “Padraig is a golfer who inspires tremendous affection on the world stage, not just for his brilliant golf but for his dedication and passion and also for the way he conducts himself and which has made him hugely popular in the game.
“The PGA Recognition Award is our way of acknowledging great achievements in the game and I’m delighted on behalf of the PGA’s membership to bestow this accolade on Padraig – he is a deserving winner and credit to the sport.”

Harrington said: “The PGA does outstanding work on behalf of its members and fulfils an important role in growing and promoting the game of golf for the benefit of all.

“It’s a real honour to receive the PGA Recognition Award from such a respected organisation and I am delighted that my career achievements have been recognised with this special distinction.”

The PGA lunch is an important fundraiser for the PGA’s Benevolent Fund which helps members who have fallen on difficult and hard times.

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