Harrington seeking "spectacular" 2016: I need to win a major to get into Olympics and Ryder Cup

Harrington seeking "spectacular" 2016: I need to win a major to get into Olympics and Ryder Cup
Padraig Harrington speaking to the Irish Independent at the Web Summit

Padraig Harrington speaking to the Irish Independent at the Web Summit

Pádraig Harrington knows he need a "spectacular", major-winning 2016 if he is to challenge for Olympic gold and win his seventh Ryder Cup cap. 

The 44-year old Dubliner's goals have been the same since he won his third major title at Oakland Hills seven years ago.

In years gone by, his major wins came about as he was competing for wins, week in, week out.

This year he won the Honda Classic, his first PGA Tour victory sine the most recent of his three majors in the 2008 US PGA.

But apart from contending for The Open at St Andrews for an hour on the final day and that playoff Honda Classic win in West Palm Beach, it's been the worst season of his 20-year tour career.

As a result he's 127th in the world and qualified for just two of have four Majors, the Open and the US PGA.

Considering he believes he must win that fourth Grand Slam title to even contemplate qualifying for the Olympic Games or the Ryder Cup,  his goal when here returns after a nine-week winter break is to be ready to hit the ground running and perform at his best when the majors arrive. 

In short, he wants to be peaking continually and while the rugby World Cup reminded him of the dangers of peaking too soon — Fiji after their win over South Africa and Ireland in topping the group, were examples for him — he's got to get his winter programme spot on to achieve his goals in 2016.

 "i'll concentrate on all four Majors," Harrington told the Irish Independent at the Web Summit in Dublin today. "I pretty much need to win one of those to get into the Olympics and Ryder Cup team.

"As much as I want to be in them, they are at the back of my mind now because I can't get into the team unless I do something spectacular."

Now ranked 127th in the world, Harrington plans to undergo surgery on his right knee later this month but if he's to make the Masters, the World Golf Championship and the US Open to increase his chances of making the Olympics or Darren Clarke's European Ryder Cup team, he knows he's got to get his winter preparation spot on.

"This hugely determines how I perform next year," he said. "I can’t afford to get this break wrong."

His right knee is the first thing on the agenda.

He injured it before the US PGA in August and had an MRI early In September which, as he suspected, revealed he had torn his meniscus.

He planned to pre-hab the muscles around his knee to speed up his recovery when he eventually undergoes the procedure.

As for 2016, Harrington added: "I want to plateau for the year. I know that sounds like a long period of time, so maybe a couple of times a year.

"My year is totally judged on how I do in the Majors, no doubt about it, but at the end of the day, peaking can be very dangerous.

"Rugby it shows up more than any other sport. You can go to the recent Rugby World Cup and every team that peaked seemed to lose the game afterwards.

"It's a dangerous thing, to try and get yourself to peak, unless you are an Olympic athlete which comes around every four years.

"Mostly athletes are talking about trying to sustain themselves."