Sport Golf

Monday 19 February 2018

Harrington hoping to give Montgomerie Ryder Cup boost in Paris

Karl MacGinty

IT'S payback time for Padraig Harrington in Paris today as he tries to return the favour to European skipper Colin Montgo-merie for one of the greatest compliments in Ryder Cup history.

Montgomerie gave Harrington a massive vote of confidence by handing him a wild card for next week's showdown with the US, despite the Dubliner's erratic form this season.

The real crunch will come for Harrington and his captain at Celtic Manor, yet the Dubliner certainly would silence the critics and reward Monty's faith if he shoots the lights out at the Vivendi Cup this weekend -- and lands his first win in more than two years on Tour.

"Anytime you come to a tournament, you want to win it, so that's the goal," said Harrington at Golf de Joyvenal yesterday.

"Yet, what would satisfy me, because of the Ryder Cup next week, is a nice solid performance, not too stressful, being reasonably in control of my game, being good and sharp mentally. No hiccups would be really good," he explained.

Harrington insisted he'll not be motivated this weekend by thoughts of proving the doubters wrong. "Everyone has opinions, to which they are perfectly entitled and I can't prove them all wrong.

"I'm certainly not going to prove them wrong in a tournament like this. That's not the nature of the game," insisted the Dubliner, who teams up this week with his brother Fergal in a 72-hole format similar to that at The Dunhill Links Championship.

The job this week, he said, was to try and reproduce good form in practice on the golf course: "I think at times I've been trying a little bit too hard and I just need to get a right balance out on the golf course of wanting it, but also being very patient and accepting."

However, victory in Paris could change the complexion of Harrington's season, earn the trust of his Ryder Cup team-mates and repay the faith of his captain.

Irish Independent

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