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Tiger will roar to at least one more Major, predicts Harrington


By Robert Jones

Tiger Woods will win another Major title, according to Irish golfer Padraig Harrington.

A three-time Major winner himself, Harrington came out in support of Woods, who has recently made a comeback on the PGA Tour following several troublesome injuries.

Woods (42) made his latest return at the Hero World Challenge in December, before making further starts at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and last week's Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club.

Currently sitting on 14 Major titles, Woods has returned with the aim of hunting down Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Major, with his first crack at adding another to his trophy cabinet coming at The Masters in April.

Despite Woods missing the cut last week in the Pacific Palisades, Harrington is confident the golfing legend will add to his haul.

"I do believe he will win another Major," Harrington said yesterday ahead of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida this week.

"Will he get to 18? I think the odds would be against him, but if you look at any of the great players in golf, they always won a Major later in their career. I do believe he will definitely get another Major and his game is good enough to do that."

Harrington is in the field at PGA National this week alongside Woods and says he's already seen significant changes since he returned last December at the Hero World Challenge.

Most notably, something jumped out to him earlier this year at Torrey Pines.

"In his heyday he'd walk on that range, nod respectfully at whoever and he'd go do his work," Harrington said. "He'd have his manager deflecting everyone away from him.

"(This year) he came on the range at Torrey Pines, he high-fived a few people, had a few chats. He was enjoying himself. No sign of a manager or anything like that. He's mellowed."

Harrington (46) said he's changed over the years as well. The two-time Honda Classic champion is trying to relax more and says while he's always striving to win, he knows it won't change how his career is viewed.

As for Woods, Harrington called him "the best golfer we'll ever physically see," and thinks he could have been even better during his prime.

"He's never going to be as good as he was and he would have been better in his heyday if he had more good players to push him," Harrington said. "He got conservative after 2001 because he could win with a conservative game. Before that he used to hit spectacular shots and I think you would have seen more if there were more good players around."

• The R&A and the USGA have announced plans for a new World Handicap System to be introduced from 2020, enabling more golfers to be able to obtain and maintain a handicap.

The changes have been designed to provide a "consistent measure of playing ability", with the system governed by the two governing bodies and administered by six handicapping authorities currently in operation.

A players' handicap will be average-based from the best eight of the past 20 scores, with both 18-hole and nine-hole rounds allowed to be considered when generating a new handicap.

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