Jack Nicklaus hails Padraig Harrington as Tiger Woods' nearest rival

Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington: Irish star says he assumed Woods lived a 'boring' life outside game!

Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus says Ireland's Padraig Harrington is the nearest replacement to Tiger Woods.

Woods - who recently announced an indefinite break from golf after news of his marital infidelities splashed across the world media - might not make any of the big events for 2010.

A knee injury ruled him out of the 2008 British Open and PGA Championship and Harrington won both of them.

Nicklaus says Harrington is a worthy challenger.

"Harrington seems to do a pretty good job of it, certainly in the last couple of years. In the heat of the battle he has done very well."

Meanwhile, Harrington expects to be battling Woods on the greens sometime soon.

"I expect him back sooner rather than later," he says.

Speaking on Ireland's late Late Show, Harrington revealed that he thought Woods was playing video games when he was reportedly meeting women.

"I used to think he would go back to his hotel room very early and leave the golf course early. I just assumed he was playing video games! I thought his life was quite boring."

"You don't get to know Tiger Woods. He's defensive. He's always been somebody who keeps himself to himself. He would very rarely be in the locker room and very rarely be mixing.

"Everybody wants something from him. If (Woods) comes into the locker room, players are asking for autographs. So you just don't see much of Tiger Woods."