Monday 18 December 2017

Harrington takes heart from Rory's response

Padraig Harrington. Photo: AP
Padraig Harrington. Photo: AP

Karl MacGinty

FIVE MINUTES... that's how long Padraig Harrington was concerned for Rory McIlroy after his young Ryder Cup team-mate suffered one of the biggest implosions in Major championship history.

McIlroy allayed all of Harrington's fears with his response to Sunday's heart-rending events at The Masters as he gave a TV interview moments after sinking his final putt.

Indeed, the Dubliner insists McIlroy will benefit more from the nightmarish final-round 80 at Augusta National than Tiger Woods will from the closing 67, which lifted the four-times Masters champion into a tie for fourth for the second year in a row.

"Rory did incredibly well afterwards," Harrington said. "In a week's time, he'll have had time to reflect, but his attitude so soon after walking off the 18th green on Sunday was fantastic and augurs well for his future.

"He'll come through this. Rory has proved many times he's capable of winning these things, but I think even more so after Sunday. He'll win plenty of Majors going forward."

Conversely, Harrington is convinced Woods left Augusta frustrated after forcing himself into contention by going five-under on the front nine, but then stalling badly.

"He's always going to have a great chance at Augusta and he had it again. If he looks back at this week, Tiger will see this as one that got away," said Harrington.

McIlroy, Masters champion Charl Schwartzel and British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen are scheduled to arrive in Kuala Lumpur at lunchtime today for this week's Malaysian Open. Harrington plays next week's Volvo China Open.

Irish Independent

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