Harrington makes 2009 debut at Portmarnock Links

Warm indoors. Harrington could freeze at Portmarnock LinksTriple Major winner Padraig Harrington will freeze in Portmarnock on Thursday as the rest of the PGA Tour stars begin the new season in sunny Hawaii.

The Dubliner, 37, will make his 2009 debut in the Links Golfing Society's winter league charity outing at Portmarnock Links when he could be playing for big money PGA Tour's curtain raising Mercedes-Benz Championship in Kapalua.

Limited to last year's tournament winners, the champion in Kapalua will take home $1.12m.

Instead he'll be playing for a good cause with the Links Golf Society, which has raised more than €10 million for charity over the past 11 years.

Harrington will officially begin his 2009 campaign alongside Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy in next week's Abu Dhabi Championship.

Conspicuous by their absence in the PGA Tour's season-opening event are world No. 1 Tiger Woods (injured), No. 2 Sergio Garcia (playing in Abu Dhabi next week), No. 3 Phil Mickelson (hasn't been here in seven years) and No. 4 Padraig Harrington (coming out of winter break).

Unlike Harrington, Woods will earn last-place money in Hawaii because he qualified for the winners-only event.

According to PGA Tour regulations, any player who qualifies for an official money event without a cut or an alternate list, but is unable to play because of injury, will receive last-place, unofficial money.

Meanwhile, world No 5 Vijay Singh will reportedly have knee surgery following this week's Mercedes-Benz Championship and will miss up to five weeks of the PGA Tour season.

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported Wednesday that Singh withdrew from next week's Sony Open in Hawaii and that several sources cited a knee injury as the season. The Star-Bulletin reported that the surgery will repair a torn meniscus.

Singh did not give the PGA Tour a reason for his withdrawal.

Singh will play on the hilly Plantation Course at Kapalua this week, then have the surgery, according to the Star-Bulletin.