Harrington relishing 'big tough course'
Published 03/03/2010 | 15:51
Padraig Harrington admits any player with aspirations of winning the 2010 Honda Classic will have to conquer a "big tough golf course".
The first round gets under way at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida tomorrow as Harrington bids to repeat his Honda success from 2005 at Mirasol.
The 38-year-old three-time major winner saw off the challenge of Vijay Singh and Joe Ogilvie in a sudden-death play-off five years ago, but finished tied for 13th the last time he played at PGA National in 2007.
"I'm looking forward to playing the course again," Harrington told the PGA Tour website. "Obviously the Honda Classic has been a good tournament for me.
"This is a very difficult golf course, the PGA National, you really want to be on top of your game.
"There's a lot of seriously tough holes out there. It's definitely one of the toughest regular courses of the year. This golf course is just a big tough golf course.
"But if you don't like this golf course your game isn't good enough and that's it."
Harrington will face competition from the likes of Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Englishmen Paul Casey and Lee Westwood.
Casey finished runner-up to Ian Poulter at the Accenture Match Play Championship last month, while Westwood has posted 13 top-10 finishes in 16 strokeplay events, including two wins, since July.
And Westwood, who has never previously played at PGA National, feels he is in the best form of his career.
"I've heard a lot about this golf course and some people thought it would suit me so it's nice to come and test it out this week," he said.
"I've still got a fair bit of golf in front of me I think at the age of 36. I'm definitely playing the best golf of my career and I think if you look at the results it's the most consistent I've ever played.
"I may not be winning as much as I did back in 98, 99, 2000, but I'm certainly giving myself a lot of opportunities to do so."
Also among the favourites is Australia's Robert Allenby, who has claimed three top-five finishes since the tournament switched to PGA National.
Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia, Camilo Villegas, YE Yang, Tim Clark and Anthony Kim are also among the field.