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Monday 21 April 2014

Harrington eyes return to form

Padraig Harrington has recorded just two top-10 finishes on the European Tour this season

Padraig Harrington will try to find the "intensity" which has been missing from his game all season as he competes in the KLM Open for the first time in more than a decade.

Harrington has recorded just two top-10 finishes on the European Tour this season - in January and March - and failed to finish in the top 125 on the US Tour to qualify for the lucrative FedEx Cup play-offs.

The three-time major winner has therefore turned his attention back to Europe and after finishing 41st in Switzerland last week, where he failed to build on a second-round 65, the 42-year-old is hoping to challenge for a first victory on a major worldwide tour since his 2008 US PGA triumph.

"Obviously I missed out on the FedEx Cup events and at this time of the year you are looking to play golf and try to find some good form," Harrington told European Tour Radio at Kennemer Golf and Country Club in Zandvoort. "It's nice to come to two really nice events this week and last week and being not far from home it really does feel nice.

"Everyone will feel comfortable on this course but certainly it will play into my strengths and I am definitely looking forward to a competitive week.

"It's very linksy tee to green and it's quite windy and cold as well. The golf course will play well in this weather; if it was a big parkland course it would be miserable, but every shot can be hit in the wind out here. No matter how windy it gets this course will play well.

"There's been nothing wrong with my game all year expect when I go on the course with a card in my hand. I play quite well Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and I don't seem to have the intensity on the tournament days.

"It's there, it's just figuring how to best get it out of me. That's part of the game at the moment, trying to figure out the right attitude and the right level of intensity to get the best out of my game.

"Whenever I've played my best golf in the past, I've generally felt quite fearful about the state of my game. I tended to get quite tense and focused and as a result I played much better, but because there's no fear at the moment, I'm not bringing much of a spark out onto the course.

"It's just something I'm going to have to manage to figure out, but I'm definitely working at it; I never stop working at this game."

Holland's Joost Luiten will carry the majority of home hopes as he looks to build on a superb season which saw him win the Lyoness Open in Austria and record five other top-10 finishes to lie 23rd on the Race to Dubai.

"I haven't played Zandvoort for three years but I like it and have good memories here," Luiten said. "I was second in 2007 so if I take my form to the course in know I can do well.

"It's a great old-fashioned golf course and is going to be in great condition. Hopefully the weather is going to help us a bit but the golf course itself is brilliant.

"It plays linksy but you can still fly it into the greens. You have to play for position a lot of the time, it's not driver everywhere, you have to be smart and hit the fairways. If you miss the fairways you are going to be in trouble."

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