Harrington is PGA Player of the Year for 2008

Padraig Harrington may have lost in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf event in Bermuda earlier this week, but there is no denying the impact he has had on the sport this year.

And as a reward for his achievements, highlighted by victory in the British Open and PGA Championship, the Irishman has been named PGA Player of the Year.

The world number four becomes the second European to win the title, thanks mainly to the two major titles he won this season.

The last European player to receive the award was England’s Nick Faldo, who walked away with it in 1990.

The award is given based on a player’s overall performance, including tournament wins, Order of Merit standings and scoring average.

Harrington dominated the latter part of the major season, successfully defending his Open title at Royal Birkdale before winning the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, becoming the first European winner of the event in 78 years.

Tiger Woods, who has won nine PGA Player of the Year titles, was out of the reckoning this year despite winning the US Open.

World number one Woods was forced to skip the rest of the season because of a knee injury that he aggravated on his way to winning at Torrey Pines.

Meanwhile, Harrington was beaten by American Jim Furyk in a play-off at the Grand Slam tournament in Bermuda.

Furyk sank an eight-foot eagle putt to win at the first extra hole, relegating Harrington to his second straight runner-up position after he was beaten by Argentina’s Angel Cabrera in a play-off last year.

Furyk and Harrington completed 36 holes of regulation at four-under-par 136 at The Mid Ocean Club, both scoring two-under 68 in the final round.

South Africa’s Retief Goosen, a two-time US Open champion, carded a 71 to finish third at one-over 141 and fellow South African Trevor Immelman, the US Masters winner, was a further four strokes adrift after scoring 69.

Furyk replaced Woods in the field and was rewarded by his second title, having won the same event in 2003.

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