Irish golf sensation Padraig Harrington insists his best days are still ahead of him as far as his golfing career is concerned. Fresh from his victory in the Johor Open in Malaysia, Harrington was in a philosophical mood reminding the press that at one point he was in third position behind Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, and that his career has fluctuated from time to time.

“I am now satisfied that I had to change to get better and while that took time it has begun to work for me again,” he told the press. “I badly needed that win in Malaysia. It’s not a case that I ever doubted myself because that was never the case and never will be the case but I understand why people kept asking me was I ever going to win again. It had been quite a while since I bridged that gap and now I am much more comfortable in myself.”

Harrington then revealed how delighted he was at being voted Ireland’s Greatest Ever Sportsman in the last few months.

“I was sceptical of that kind of stuff beforehand because that can often be quite fickle,” he told the press. “But on reflection it is something I am very chuffed about because it was something I might never have won again. You tend to think that you win these things when you retire but I didn’t realise how much it could mean to me until I got the award. It was a case of allowing myself to enjoy something that for once was outside my own control.”

Asked to compare his contribution to Europe’s Ryder Cup victory with his own performance in Malaysia last week he insisted it could not be done.

“There we would have had a conversation he quipped. At the Ryder Cup good golf is ordered of you whereas when you are competing individually it’s a case of doing everything for yourself. In the Ryder Cup you are constantly under pressure every round and it can be very nerve wracking. I can honestly say I have never been as nervous as I was on the first tee at Celtic Manor and that is it’s own indication of what the Ryder Cup means to guys who play for themselves week in, week out.”