Flora ProActiv ambassador Padraig Harrington has today launched the Flora cholesterol awareness campaign this week.

WITH THREE majors titles to his name and widely regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest sportsmen, Padraig Harrington has little left to prove.
Nevertheless, the Dubliner is nothing if not modest, and fiercely pragmatic. He is unwilling to go down the traditional route of professional sportsman and feed the media with polished sound bites. Instead, he owns up to struggling mentally, publicly examines his own health, and is quick to emphasise what he perceives as his own flaws.
“I won’t celebrate anything but a win,” is one such example. “The reality is a win is so much bigger and better,” Harrington told GazetteSport. “I don’t really care about anything else. Nobody remembers who finishes fifth years down the line.
“Right now, I realistically need to win twice to be thinking about the Ryder Cup or the Olympics. That can make things difficult, as anything else feels like failure.”
The ambitious thought process extends to majors, too, and the big tournaments are notoriously hard to win.
“I don’t think a fourth major is that big a deal,” Harrington explains, despite having won all three of his trophies at golf’s top table in the heady era of 2007 and 2008.
“There’s not that big of a difference between winning three majors and four. Six would be different, as that would be the most for a European. It feels like I can win another one. I was close last year; I led at the Open for 59 holes, until losing that ball.”
Winning, according to Harrington, is about mentality and confidence, but also about habit. He will spend St Patrick’s Day in India to this end.
“I need to play more outside the States. It’s hard to win in the States, and strangely playing abroad as the marquee player works for me.
“You get the crowd behind you, you get put up in the penthouse suite and people treat you like a star. Then you play like a star. It worked for me in Indonesia recently and it builds confidence”
Harrington has also hooked up with Flora ProActiv, in particular to promote care around cholesterol, for which he took a successful 21-day reduction challenge.
Harrington also hopes the health progress can help his game.
“Injuries take away confidence and cause over-thinking,” he explains, suggesting along the way that Tiger Wood’s recent loss of form might have a lot to do with his mental state.
“When you play well, your game feels great. The same happens the other way,” he argues. “You get frustrated when you’re not doing things right. I’ve found at times that I know what I’m supposed to do, and that frustrates me, as it’s hard to understand why it’s not working. Then it gets worse.”
With a reputation for being outspoken, Harrington has occasionally shocked by making rare admissions when such cycles come into play – including telling the press that he’s struggling mentally.
“I get some feedback,” he agrees. “And it’s valid, though I don’t pay too much attention to it. I’ll have an argument with anyone. Like sitting in front of the football, I’ll have something to say about the players.
“But you never know what’s really going on. A player could be out of position or stifled by strategy. It’s the same in golf; there are so many factors at play someone watching will not know about.”