Three-times Major Champion, Padraig Harrington, will be hoping that memories of lifting the Claret Jug in consecutive years will inspire his game this weekend at the 143rd Open Championship and ultimately lift his game back to the dizzy heights he achieved during a golden period of his career.

Golden period

Harrington has not tasted success at the highest level since 2007/08 when he won back-to-back Open Championships and the 2008 USPGA Championship, during a period of unprecedented success on a personal level.

The 42-year old Irishman, a winner of 28-professional tournaments worldwide, established himself as one of the world's best golfers during this period which saw him reach number three in the world rankings, accompanied by a host of top accolades.

Expectation

Speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport ahead of the BMW Championship a few months back, Harrington admitted that with such huge success came expectation and pressure.

"It certainly brings a burden when you've won major titles. You try and live up to that all the time. They are peaks when you win a tournament like that, so it is a question of understanding that you're not going to play like that every week and not getting frustrated.

"It is tough. Very few people win majors and end up playing better because of it."

Memories

The Open Championship week is sure to provide Harrington a springboard to get his game moving in the right direction once again, considering the inspirational memories that will come flooding back every year as a result of his two superb wins.

Adding to this, there have been some encouraging signs of late when he finished in a tie for 14th at his home Irish Open last month and then went on to shoot a final-round 67 at the Scottish Open on Sunday. 

There is a fine line between success and failure in this most difficult of sports and the balance can be tipped back in ones favour by the finest of margins, like his closing round of last week.

Hoylake challenges

Harrington told GiveMeSport exclusively, ahead of The Open, about his return to Hoylake, which last hosted the event in 2006, and about the different nature of the course that will be greeting the players this year as opposed to last time out when it was dry and hard, following drought like conditions leading up to the event.

"I'm very much looking forward to getting underway this week at The Open Championship. It's an event I look forward to every year and it's great to be back at Royal Liverpool GC.

"The course is in perfect condition and very different to how it was when we played in 2006, given that the course is relatively "green" after a wet spring. Despite the fact that the rough is heavier, the greens are receptive and the ball easier to control on the fairways which, depending on the strength of the wind, could mean the scoring will be low."

Other challenges

The links course won't be the only challenges standing between Harrington and another Major win.

A host of the favourites arrive in pretty decent shape, and the former winner will know that he will have to find that little extra if he wants to get back on the winning trail this weekend.

Justin Rose arrives off the back of consecutive wins, following victories on both sides of the Atlantic. 

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It took Rose almost 13 months to get back on the winning trail following his first Major win last year at the US Open, however the world number three is the one to beat this week.

Rose's preparation couldn't have gone any better as he fired a closing six-under, 65 at Royal Aberdeen last week to clinch the Scottish Open by two shots.

The win came off the back of a thrilling play-off victory a week earlier at the Quicken Loans National at the Congressional on the other side of the Atlantic, the first time Rose has won back to back tournaments.

World number one Adam Scott, will not want to remember handing over the 2012 Open Championship to Ernie Els when he bogeyed the final four holes, but then the Australian has since won his first Major less than a year later when he donned the Green Jacket at the 2013 US Masters ,and finished tied third in last years Open at Muirfiled.

Harrington winning the 2007 Open Championship

And then there isTiger Woods who returns to the scene of his last Open Championship victory, when he held off Chris Di Marco, Ernie Els, jim Furyk and Sergio Garcia, for what was a memorable and emotional, 11th Major win.

Barely weeks before he teed off at the 135th Open Championship, Woods lost his father, Earl, a person he always regarded as the main inspiration in his life.

Woods has played just two competative rounds of golf in four months since undergoing back surgery, however the memories of his last win and the fact he is playing pain free for the first time is years will make the 14-times Major winner a threat.

Harrington defends the title in 2008

Harrington gets his quest underway tomorrow alongside South Africa's Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 US Masters winner and South Korea's K.J. Choi. 

You can follow Padraig's fortunes at The Open Championship and throughout the year on his Facebook page by clicking here.

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