World No 1 Tiger Woods has hailed Padraig Harrington for his incredible work ethic.

While Woods has smashed virtually every record in the book so far, he wasn't surprised to learn that Harrington has the indian sign over him in head to head combat.

After a year that saw him win 11 times - including two majors - the game's top player still found time to pay tribute to the man he calls Paddy.

Raising an eyebrow, Woods said: "I didn't know that. That's interesting. All I know is that he beat me in a play-off in Japan about a month ago.

"But, you know, Paddy really works at it. Him and Bob (Torrance) have done some fantastic work together and he is such a diligent worker.

"All you have to do is look at the way he goes about his business when he gets to the golf course.

"He really puts in the work on the golf course and that's admirable."

Woods might have lost out to Harrington in Japan this year, but he wasn't losing much sleep over it after winning the PGA Tour 'Player of the Year' award for the eighth time.

He won more tournaments than anyone else - 11 in all - and finished the season with six consecutive victories in official PGA Tour strokeplay events.

But he will always remember 2006 as the year he lost his father Earl to cancer.

After taking more than two months off following his father's death in May, Woods confessed that it was hard for him to get back out on the course.

When he did return, he missed the cut in the US Open.

But he explained: "I knew I had to go through - like anyone - the grieving process, and I had never done anything like that before.

"The hardest thing for me to do was play golf. Usually, people go to work to get away from a loss like that. But that's when I thought of my dad. He introduced me to the game of golf. He taught me a lot of life lessons on the golf course.

"When I came back and started working on my fundamentals ... I learned them from my dad."

Woods is the only man to win the Jack Nicklaus Award for Player of the Year more than twice.

But he also won the Arnold Palmer Award for leading the money list with a massive $9.9 million and the Byron Nelson Award for the lowest scoring average at 68.11.

His missed cut in the US Open - his first failure in the majors as a professional - came after he took nine weeks off to mourn his father.

But he bounced back with an amazing return of form that saw him clinch an emotionally charged win in the Open at Hoylake and an impressive 12th major win in the US PGA at Medinah.

As he prepared to round off the year by hosting the unofficial $5.75 million Target World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club, Woods says he can't wait for the holidays when he will going skiing with his wife.

For the past few years, he has spent the Christmas period and his birthday - he turns 31 on December 30 - with his ailing father.

Recalling Christmas 2005, he said: "I didn't do anything for my birthday. I didn't even know it was my birthday.

"I was up three, four, five days in a row non-stop trying to be with Dad. I just hung around him as much as I possibly could."