Tuesday 23 January 2018

Happy Harrington bags rare bird

Bernie McGuire in Shanghai

Pádraig Harrington is promising not to overdo his winter practice in a bid to boost his tally of Major titles.

Harrington has three events left in 2010 in his 15th full year in the pro ranks but it will be a different routine ahead of next year.

"I am very optimistic about my game so much so that I feel as though I don't have to go searching for anything in the off-season," he said after carding a third straight 70 on day three of the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai. "I have good understanding of what I want to do, so it won't be a question over the winter break of looking for anything. It will be just a question of putting it all together once next year gets under way."

Harrington pulled off the shot of a lifetime yesterday when he holed his three-wood second shot from 250 yards at the par five 14th on the Sheshan course.

"I've never had an albatross before. I had 250 yards into the wind, and I was forced into going for it," he said. "Normally, if you're standing 250 yards out and you have to hit over water, you are going to hit it into the middle of the green, so I hit a nice soft fade and it ran up, and the crowd started cheering. I was hoping it was going to go close but when the crowd all started jumping up I suspected it had gone into the hole, so it was a nice bonus."

It left the world No 19 in a share of eighth place at six-under par, eight strokes behind Francesco Molinari. Lee Westwood is just a shot further back. Rory McIlroy, with three straight 71s, shares 17th spot with Tiger Woods (73) and Ian Poulter (73). Graeme McDowell (73) is tied 44th on two-over par.

Sunday Independent

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