Saturday 16 December 2017

Harrington happy to go swinging in the rain

OPEN champ Padraig Harrington tempted fate when he wished for bad weather at this week's €70,000 Irish PGA Championship.

After an uninspiring performance at the storm-tossed European Open, Harrington said: "I was nowhere near as sharp as I can be so I could do with playing in some more bad weather like that.

"What's missing in my game at the moment is a bit of sharpness and when you play in the worst weather you have to use your head and your short game more.

"I was going around on Sunday thinking I could do with four days of this next week," added Harrington, who tied 17th with Paul McGinley after last Sunday's final round 75.

"It keeps you sharp when it's really difficult like that. You have to think well and get the ball up and down a lot.

"That sort of stuff wouldn't do me any harm," added Harrington, who hopes that 72 testing holes at The European Club from tomorrow will help put his 'A' game in place for The Open.

Though Harrington insists his ricked neck is not a problem, he looked decidedly stiff around the shoulders after Sunday's final round 75.

Yet of increasing concern for the Dubliner must be his position in the Ryder Cup rankings, as he currently lags 30 world ranking points or €396,826 outside automatic selection.

Of course, retaining his Claret Jug next Sunday week or victory in next month's Bridgestone World Championship of Golf or the US PGA, would solve it.


However, if Harrington still hasn't clinched his berth at Valhalla by that point, don't be surprised if he changes his schedule and plays Europe's final qualifier, The Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles, instead of The DeutscheBank in Boston.

As it finishes on a Monday, 24 hours after Gleneagles, the DeutscheBank, first in the FedEx Cup playoff series, is a day too late to boost the Irishman's world ranking points.

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