Harrington's busy future

From Brian Keogh at Carnoustie

Padraig Harrington could pocket a massive €20 million cash bonanza for winning the Open.

While he has already banked over €25 million in tournament earnings around the world, the Dubliner can expect to land juicy bonuses from sponsors that could make him twice as wealthy.

A hugely popular figure in the US, Harrington has deals with Wilson, Bank of Ireland, Titleist, White Oak Plantation in North Carolina, U4EA – computer networking, Marlbrook Design – his new golf course project in Clonmel Co Tipperary and Kartel - the Irish clothing company he put on the map.

His manager Adrian Mitchell of International Management Group (IMG) got just two hour sleep before his phone started ringing non-stop with requests for interviews and other matters

And he expects to be even busier over the next few months as he sits down with the Dubliner to work out a marketing and scheduling strategy that could make his client even more money.

Mitchell said: "My phone has not stopped ringing from the moment he holed the putt until very late last night and started ringing again at 6.30 this morning, and I got to bed only two hours earlier. They were trying to line-up early morning interviews

"It was mostly PR from here and abroad, and there were quite a few enquiries from the US.

"He’s got a great following on the US East Coast and it will only enhance his high popularity out there and get his name registered with golf fans who might not necessarily have known him before yesterday. People who don’t necessarily watch golf, especially with all the drama behind it.

"I had friends of mine who don’t normally watch golf calling me from America about Padraig."

Mitchell stepped in to help Scot Paul Lawrie when he won the Open at Carnoustie in 1999 and also manages 2005 US Open champion Michael Campbell.

Eight years ago, it was estimated that Lawrie would earn £10 million sterling from endorsement deals relating to this Open win.

But Harrington is already a massively popular figure and the new world No 6 can expect to pocket at least double that figure.

Asked what the proportionate increase in earnings Harrington could generate, Mitchell added: "There is no average. Padraig is in the fortunate position that he’s got, quite rightly, a number of great sponsors.

"Positions are filled in each category but we’ll sit down and take a look at the type of brands we want to be associated with and develop a game plan.

"We need to be selective and plan with the companies you want to plan with. I can’t put a percentage on it. It depends on the invidual, obviously, and a lot of other factors."

Not all of Harrington's contracts contain bonus clauses for winning a major.

But in purely golfing terms the Dubliner is already top of the European Tour Order of Merit with €2,059,508 in the bank from 10 events - leapfrogging Swede Henrik Stenson to lead by over €275,000 in his defence of the European No 1 crown.

He is also up from 79 to 19th in the FedEx Cup standings on the PGA Tour which makes him a certainty to play in September's season-ending Tour Championship play-off in Atlanta where the FedEx Cup winner will pocket €10 million.

As a winner of a Grand Slam event, he is exempt for the Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda in October and will play in the Open until he is 65 if he wishes.

His schedule is his first headache and he will sit down with his manager this week to discuss his future plans though his wife's pregnancy will have to be taken into account.

The baby is due in the first week in December, and Mitchell said "It’s something I’ll be sitting down to discuss with him in the week. There have been approaches. It makes him eligible for Grand Slam and things like the Mercedes Championship in Hawaii in January but he’s got a pretty much stretched schedule and a baby coming later this year."

If Harrington plays the Grand Slam of Golf, he will tee it up in Bermuda from 16-17 October. alongside US Open champion Angel Cabrera, Masters winner Zach Johnson and the winner of this year's US PGA.

The event will be hosted at the Mid Ocean Club and Fairmont Southampton Hotel and broadcast to an audience of 89 million U.S. homes, along with an international audience of more than 100 countries in a prime-time telecast.
The PGA Grand Slam of Golf purse is $1.35 million, with the winner receiving $600,000; second place $300,000; third place $250,000; and fourth place $200,000.

Established in 1979, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf has grown from an 18-hole, single-day charity event to a 36-hole annual showdown

Past winners include seven-time champion Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Ernie Els, Tom Lehman, Ben Crenshaw, Greg Norman, Nick Price and Ian Woosnam.