Harrington in frame of mind to end title famine
Padraig Harrington will complete the transformation from tourist to trophy-hunter today when he joins fellow Major champion YE Yang and England's David Horsey on the first tee at the Volvo China Open.
Harrington and his family have seen all the major attractions around Beijing this week. They've visited the Great Wall, inspected the Terracotta Army and even posed for a photo with a cuddly baby Panda!
Yet, the 39-year-old Dubliner is determined to leave Chengdu on Sunday with much more than a few holiday snaps for the family album.
Without a win on the European Tour since the 2008 US PGA at Oakland Hills, Harrington is determined to bring that 32-month famine to an end. Ireland's three-time Major champion this week even defied a widely held superstition by picking up the China Open trophy.
"Now I have a good feel for the weight of it," he explained. "If I've a chance of winning coming down the stretch on Sunday, I'll be visualising myself holding that trophy... I'm a great believer in the power of the subconscious."
Harrington had planned to take a three-week break after the US Masters but with the kids on their Easter break from school, an opportunity to bring his family "on the trip of a lifetime" to China was impossible to resist.
He believes the past few days have put him in the "right spirit" for this week's event, adding: "It brings a good balance to your life when you do things like this and better balance in life leads to better balance in golf."
Yet between the Yin and the YE Yang, Harrington has extremely serious business to do. For a start, he must blow away shadows of uncertainty which have surrounded his putting since Augusta.
His Masters plan was wrecked by a pulled neck muscle but, honest as ever, Harrington couldn't say for sure that was the only reason he "putted like a Womble" as he missed the cut at Augusta... a doubt he definitely needs to banish in the heat of battle this weekend.
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