Padraig Harrington does not believe that splashing out on his own private sent his career into a tailspin.
The Dubliner, who bought a 1986 Gulfstream III towards the end of 2010, put it on the market recently.
But he rejects the theory that the financial pressure, subliminal or otherwise, of having to pay for the aircraft’s upkeep played a part in his slide from 23rd into the world at the end of 2010 to a 15-year low of 96th on April 1 this year.
“I don’t know if it did or it didn’t but I would suggest not,” Harrington said before this week’s Barclays Singapore Open. “If you want to look at a pattern like that, you’d have to ask if it affected Phil Mickelson, did it affect Ernie Els?
“I think by looking for a pattern like that, if a player buys a plane he is going to buy it at the peak of his career. So it’s easy to track that if he is at a peak and he has a bit of a trough, and then has another peak, people will always put two and two together and get five.
“I’ve flown privately for 10 years. I just did it in a different way recently.”
Buying miles on a private jet service is different to buying and maintaining your own plane. But if Harrington does go on to win more tournaments and majors, it may be worth deeper investigation.
Co-incidence or not, it’s a fact that Harrington did not win an event as the owner of a private jet.
His last tournament victory came in the Iskandar Johor Open on the Asian Tour in October 2010 and he did not lift another trophy in triumph until he claimed the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda two weeks ago and several weeks after putting his jet up for sale.