Padraig Harrington is aiming to cook up a desert storm in Abu Dhabi and eat away at Tiger Woods world rankings lead.

Ireland’s triple Major winner has set his sights on victory in his first event back after an eight-week winter break that saw him combine the gym and the practice ground with his new hobby - Japanese cooking.

Mentally preparing to follow up the greatest season of his career, Harrington wants to win every time he tees it up this year, explaining: "I'm here to win and I like the course. I've set all sorts of goals, some that are very attainable and some that are a bit far out there, but any time I go to an event I really want to win.

"It would be hard to set goals based on last year because it was such a good year. So, I'm trying to focus on the process and just trying to improve my game. I worked out a lot during the break, not only on my game and in the gym, but also with my psyche."

Ranked third in the world, Harrington knows he can close the gap on No 2 Sergio Garcia and world No 1 Woods if he takes home the trophy on Sunday.

And he believes he’s ready to ease himself into the thick of the action on a course where he was fifth in 2007 and 11th last year.

He said: "I don't envisage coming out with all guns blazing on Thursday morning and firing at all the pins.

"I'll work my way into the event and I'll need a little bit of adjustment to get into it. My target is to shoot a steady score the first day and get better every day.

"I've had eight weeks off and in that time I have been in the gym and done some significant work on my game.

"If I am going to win it will be a case of my getting into a decent position and coming down the stretch on Sunday and winning it from there. I have proved to myself that I can do that when I have to and I’m looking forward to my next opportunity to do it.

"The big advantage of winning three majors is that it makes you believe and trust in what you are doing and that it is bringing the right results. It is nice to be able to say that what I’m doing day to day has reaped the rewards. And I know that the way I prepare for the big tournaments is the right way."

Harrington revealed that Santa Claus brought him a present that will force him to learn how to cook - a Japanese Teppan-yaki griddle.

But his main focus is on finding the magic recipe that will allow him to improve as a player in 2009 and turn up for the Majors in top form.

The $2m Abu Dhabi Championship is the perfect opener for Harrington who will must beat the likes of Garcia, defending champion Martin Kaymer, Ryder Cup star Miguel Angel Jimenez as well as Australians Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley and Indian star Jeev Milkha Singh.

And while fans in Abu Dhabi hoping for another Harrington-Garcia showdown, the Dubliner will be happy if he can continue to improve as a player.

He said: "I do believe I'll be a better player this year. That doesn't necessarily mean that my results will be better, but over time, it will even itself out.

"You do need results every now and then to confirm that your are on the right track. But at the moment I am very much concentrating on my goals and process and making sure I am preparing right and really peaking for the big events."

As for the hot topic of the 2010 Ryder Cup captaincy, Harrington reckons the Players Committee has a tough task when they sit down in Dubai later this month to pick the new man.

He said: "I think they are in a difficult position this time around. I don't envy what they have to do. It's tough and I am glad I am not the one doing it.

"I think Jose (Maria Olazabal) is going to do a great job when it comes around to him being captain. Everybody is looking forward to him being captain. He is very emotional and his passion for the Ryder Cup is very evident.

"The fact he is thrown in there is confusing the issue for Sandy Lyle, who has been a stalwart in Europe for a long number of years and in many ways does deserve the Ryder Cup captaincy."