Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain
After an amateur career including three Walker Cup appearances, Pádraig’s professional career began in 1995, when he secured his European Tour card, shortly before gaining his maiden tour victory at the 1996 Spanish Open after only 10 events as a professional.
In 1999 he fulfilled one of his career ambitions, qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team, thus beginning an association with the famous trophy that continues to the present day.
After achieving the European number one ranking and securing the Harry Vardon Trophy in 2006, the following year Pádraig won the Irish Open at Adare Manor, the first Irishman to win the national title for 25 years, emulating the victory of John O’Leary in 1982. A few months later he became the first European to win a Major Championship since 1999 and the first player from Ireland in 60 years since Fred Daly at Hoylake in 1947 to capture the Claret Jug, when he was victorious at the Open Championship at Carnoustie.
The following year he became the first European since James Braid in 1906 to successfully defend his title, retaining the Open Championship title at Royal Birkdale, becoming only the 16th player to defend The Open and the 24th player to record multiple Open victories. Only three weeks later, Pádraig won the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, Michigan, in the process becoming the first European since Scotland’s Tommy Armour in 1930 to acquire back-to-back Major titles.
The three Major victories in the space of 13 months helped him to reach a career high of third in the World Rankings and earned him the European Tour, PGA Tour and PGA of America Player of the Year awards. In addition, he won the Golf Writers’ trophies on both sides of the Atlantic and the European Tour Shot of the Year.
With a career total of 30 victories around the world, Pádraig continues to compete at the elite level and has achieved the great distinction of been appointed Captain of the 2020 European Ryder Cup team, which will take place at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, this coming September. As a player, he was a regular in the side for over a decade, winning on four occasions and has been a Vice-Captain for the last three Ryder Cups.
Born in Dublin, Padraig is a proud family man and is married to Caroline with two children, Patrick and Ciaran.