Harrington wins IGWA award

By Brian Keogh

Open champion Pádraig Harrington landed yet another gong yesterday when he was named ‘Professional of the Year’ by the Irish Golf Writers’ Association.

The Dublin, 35, became the first Irishman since Fred Daly in 1947 to win The Open when he beat Sergio Garcia in a nail-biting play-off at Carnoustie in July.

Harrington is also a leading candidate to win the European Tour Golfer of the Year following a luncheon in London today - 12 months after being denied the award by Paul Casey.

It's been a vintage year for Harrington, who ended Ireland's 25 year wait for a home winner with victory in the Irish Open at Adare Manor in May.

Set to round off his season alongside Tiger Woods in this week's Target World Challenge, Harrington was an unanimous choice for the professional prize.

He will receive his award at a dinner, sponsored by AIB, in Dublin on January 4.

Holywood starlet Rory McIlroy, who won the gold medal as leading amateur in The Open at Carnoustie, won the Irish men’s ‘Amateur of the Year’ for 2007.

The teenage was a member of the Ireland team that won the European Team Championship at Western Gailes in Scotland in July and also represented Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup at Royal County Down in September.

Carlow's Karen Delaney has been awarded the ‘Women’s Amateur of the Year’ award following a fine season highlighted by her victory in the Lancome Irish Ladies Close Championship.

Tipperary's Arthur Pierse will be presented with the ‘Distinguished Services’ award at the AIB Irish Golf Writers’ Association Awards Dinner next month.

The former Walker Cup ace, 56, became the first Irishman to win the British Senior Men’s Open Amateur Championship in August.

He also won the East of Ireland (1979), West of Ireland (1980, 1982) and North of Ireland (1987) championships.

As part of a new three year agreement, AIB are the new sponsors of the Irish Golf Writers’ Association Awards Dinner.

The dinner for the 2007 winners will take place at AIB Bank Centre, Ballsbridge, on January 4 2008.