Friday 17 August 2018

Harrington wants to feel 'fear of God' on Sunday

Paul Dunne is struggling for form right now and with the Ryder Cup a pipedream unless he wins this week. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Paul Dunne is struggling for form right now and with the Ryder Cup a pipedream unless he wins this week. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Pádraig Harrington won the 2008 US PGA with "the fear of God" in his bones but he's hoping to experience those jitters again on the back nine on Sunday and not tomorrow afternoon.

Ten years after he claimed his third Major at Oakland Hills, he still believes he can get those scary eyes going if he's there with nine holes to go.

The problem is getting through the first 63 holes unscathed and the difference between being one of the title favourites with a bulletproof game and a veteran hoping that experience trumps scar tissue is all down to how you take your knocks.

"I would say that when you are playing well, you are playing well within yourself and when you're not, you're like me," he said.

"You feel as though you need to be maxed out on the best. You just don't feel like you can take the hits the way you could when you were in form."

With a 20-under-par winning score on the cards, Harrington feels under pressure from the start.

The difference between 2008 Harrington and the 2018 version is dealing with mistakes, as he did in Detroit a decade ago, almost missing the cut due to dehydration before firing a brace of 66s over the weekend to win.

"I lost complete co-ordination, nearly missing the cut and being completely out of it and having the fear of God in me for the Saturday and Sunday," he recalled, still savouring the Major he "stole".

"I probably have the same fear, but earlier in the tournament," he said with a smile.

"I don't have them as bad when I am coming down the stretch."

Paul Dunne is struggling for form right now and with the Ryder Cup a pipedream unless he wins this week, his big goal is to improve his all-round game for the long term so he can break into the world's top 50.

"I've had a funny year," Dunne said in the build-up.

"I've felt so much in control for some parts of the year and in other parts, it (my game) has felt so lost.

"So I am trying to figure out what the difference is and piecing it all together."

Irish Independent

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