For a short period of time, Padraig Harrington, the greatest golfer to come out of the Republic, was untouchable in the golf world. Harrington compiled three major victories in 2007-08, including the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie, the 2008 British Open at Royal Birkdale (pictured) and the 2008 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.
2 of 5Imago/Icon SMI
Fred Daly, pictured here at the 1970 British Open, won the 1947 British Open to become the first man from Ireland to capture a professional major championship.
3 of 5Fred Vuich/SI
Graeme McDowell became the first European in 40 years to win the U.S. Open when he triumphed at Pebble Beach in 2010. His first major victory was part of a whirlwind year that saw him win two other times on the European Tour and secure the winning point for the European side at the Ryder Cup.
4 of 5Fred Vuich/SI
The first Irish golfer ever to reach the No. 1 ranking, Rory McIlroy will soon be known as the greatest Irish golfer ever -- if he isn't already. McIlroy thrilled the golf world by dominating at the 2010 U.S. Open at Congressional to win his first major championship at the age of 22. He backed it up with his second major at the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah, where he again scored an eight-shot victory.
5 of 5Robert Beck/SI
Darren Clarke had already won 13 times on the European Tour and three times on the PGA Tour by the start of 2011. Despite his prior achievements, the man from Dungannon was 42 years old and in a slump that had him considering retirement. That all changed when Clarke held on to win the British Open at Royal St. George's, winning for the first time in his 20th appearance at the tournament.
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