Harrington plans to join jet-set

By Brian Keogh

Padraig Harrington is planning to become a real jet-setter.

Sources close to the Dubliner have revealed that he is close to buying his own private plane.

With plans to set up a US base in North Carolina, the European No 1 could then fly back to Europe for selected events.

With three majors and three World Golf Championships in the US, Harrington only needs to play another five events in Europe to complete 11-tournament minimum required for European Tour membership.

And having a private plan would make it easier for him to follow the same globe-trotting schedule as players such as Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Vijay Singh.

Private air travel costs about $5,000 an hour on NetJets, one of the most successful fractional-jet ownership companies.

Harrington had dismissed the possibility of keeping a jet in Dublin as too expensive.

But with plans to set up a US base in Tryon in North Carolina, he could base a jet in Charlotte and fly from there.