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Pádraig poised for major push

A few years ago, Padraig Harrington would've gladly settled for three major championships.

Now, it's not enough. The two-time British Open champion said the outlook changes once you've got a few major titles in the trophy case. In addition to winning back-to-back at Carnoustie and Birkdale (2007-08), he captured the 2008 PGA Championship.

"I'm sure when I had zero, if somebody told me I was to win three, I would have said, 'Thank you very much. I'll take that'," Harrington said. "Now, of course, I've won three. It's all about just one more. That's human nature."

He might be pushing too hard -- the Irishman hasn't won a sanctioned tournament since his PGA triumph at Oakland Hills nearly two years ago, and his best finish in the last six majors is 10th.

"I want to go out and win more majors and, if anything, I'm too pushy, too hard, and trying too hard," Harrington said.

Given his results, he's starting to wonder if that's the right attitude.

"When you've won them, you can ease off a little bit," Harrington said. "That's certainly something I'll be focusing on this week (at St Andrews), maybe trying to take a more balanced attitude out to the golf course, relaxing, enjoying it, all those cliches that you hear said about golf. If I take a better attitude out there, I'll just let it happen."

The best of the old and new will be on show when Tom Watson and Ryo Ishikawa tee off in the first round, and Harrington will revel in every minute from the best seat in the house.

At 60, Watson has seen it all, winning eight majors.

Japan's Ishikawa, 42 years junior to Watson, has the golfing world at his feet; a sponsors' dream who won his seventh career title in May on the back of a closing 58.

The draw for the opening rounds paired the two together on Thursday and Friday with twice champion Harrington delighted to be making up the grouping.

"That's actually a lovely threeball," said Harrington.

"I've got to say, I've got two ends of the spectrum to look at, certainly a lot to learn from Tom Watson and certainly a lot to watch with Ryo Ishikawa."

Harrington has never played a competitive round with the Japanese prodigy but said Ishikawa's aggressive approach to the game matches up well against Watson.

"I would say he's a young Tom Watson as from the little I've seen of him, he just seems to go after a lot, play without fear, which is certainly a trait of Tom Watson's," he said.


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