(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Former PGA player of the year and European No 1 golfer, Padraig Harrington, believes that Tiger Woods will break the long-standing record of 18 Major wins held by Jack Nicklaus, but fears that the US star will never regain the dominance of his early days.
Speaking exclusively to Muscat Daily during a brief visit to Almouj Golf organised by HSBC, Harrington said, ''I believe that Tiger will become the greatest player. However, I also accept that records are meant to be broken and maybe, we may have an even greater player in the times to come.
''I've played with him (Woods) and the way he hits the golf ball, there wouldn't be very many players who wouldn't want to hit the golf ball like him. I am sure that he would get past Jack's record of 18 Major wins. It is only a matter of time. The big step for Woods is to win the next; once he achieves that, it would then be easier for him.''
Woods won the last of his 14 Major titles at the 2008 US Open before his game went into decline after the 2009 season. The world No 1 has since then staged a comeback and had a good season this year with five titles from 16 tournaments and the PGA player of the year award.
Speaking about his own record while playing with Woods as a partner, Harrington said, ''He is a good player to play with, but when I am with him, my focus is only on my game.''
The Irish star has partnered Woods on six occasions in tournaments and has an average of 68.83 as compared to Woods' 69.50.
Harrington, who hasn't succeeded on the US PGA Tour since his victory at the 2008 US PGA Championship, said he is working hard to be back among the top ten, adding that he believed he can return to top form soon. Harrington also has two British Open titles to his name, but said that being part of the Ryder Cup dwarfs any other experience the sport has to offer.
Harrington, a four-time Ryder Cup winner, said, "The more excited the crowd is, even when they are against you, the better it is. For me, the most memorable Ryder Cup was the one at Brooklyn [in 1999] that we lost. It was just electric. Some bad things went on, but none of that happened for me. To this day, I've never experienced anything like the atmosphere there."
The Dublin-based golfer, whose run of six consecutive Ryder Cup appearances came to an end when he failed to make it to the team for Medinah, US, in 2012, admitted, "Missing out certainly makes you more anxious. I thought I would just make it to the team, but I didn't. Now I'm thinking about what I didn't do last time and what I should do now."
Harrington added that the period between 2007-2008, when he won back-to-back Major titles, was the most spectacular run of his career so far. ''All the three Major wins were different and close to my heart. At the US PGA title in 2008, I was sick but managed to grab it.''
The 42 year old, who was on his maiden visit to Oman to be part of HSBC's third annual golf day, said that it was encouraging to know that the country is aspiring to become a golf tourism destination.
Having had a successful amateur career, with a Walker Cup title, Harrington also urged young amateur players in Oman to take part in more competitions to improve their gam