Harrington: Karlsson would be worthy winner

Padraig Harrington today insisted the Order of Merit would not be devalued if he failed to win it despite claiming back-to-back major titles this season.

Harrington became the first European since James Braid in 1906 to successfully defend the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in July, and then won the USPGA Championship at Oakland Hills just three weeks later.

That would usually be enough to see the Dubliner top of the money list ahead of the season-ending Volvo Masters at Valderrama, which gets under way tomorrow, but the 37-year-old finds himself behind Ryder Cup partner Robert Karlsson.

To claim a second Harry Vardon Trophy in three years, Harrington needs to finish first or second at Valderrama – a course he is not a particular fan of - and even victory would not be enough if Karlsson were to finish second.

But asked if it would take anything away from the Order of Merit if winning two majors in 2008 was not good enough, Harrington said: “Not at all. At the end of the day, I haven’t played enough events to put myself out there.

“And in the events I played, I certainly didn’t show the form that I probably showed in the States this year. My best events definitely weren’t in Europe this year at all.

“I had a lot of top-five finishes in the States, but didn’t seem to have much form in Europe, and that’s why I’m not winning the European Order of Merit at the moment. Obviously, I need a big week this week.

“Robert has performed more consistently in Europe throughout the year, so consistency-wise, and that’s what an Order of Merit is, he probably deserves it.

“But that doesn’t mean he gets it. We have to wait until Sunday to sort that out.”

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