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Harrington says Honda Classic win was big deal

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Padraig Harrington kept working.

He kept tinkering. Boy, did he ever keep tinkering.

And he kept searching.

When the Irishman arrived at last year’s Honda Classic, the three-time major winner hadn’t won on any major tour across the globe since he captured the 2008 PGA Championship in a thrilling duel with Sergio Garcia. At the time of his last major win, he was in golf’s penthouse, one of the game’s premier players with nearly 30 victories worldwide. He was a threat whenever he teed it up, a Ryder Cup stalwart for Europe, the No. 3-ranked player in the world.

And then …

Slowly and painfully, Harrington, 44, started falling. He didn’t win in 2009. By the end of 2010 his ranking had dropped to 23rd. By the end of 2011, it was 85th. Then he was in triple-digits, descending to as low as No. 385 in 2014. Yes, he’d won twice on lower-level tours — the 2010 Iskandar Johor Open and the 2014 Bank BRI Indonesia Open — but he was…

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