Saturday 24 February 2018

Harrington's mental block

Tony Jimenez

Gene Pitney had a hit in the 1960s with Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart and if Pádraig Harrington was to consider a career in music he might tweak the lyrics to Someone's Gotten Hold of My Head.

"For me, today, 70 was a steal and 69 would have been a miracle," Harrington said on a sun-kissed day at Royal Lytham & St Annes. "I was really at sixes and sevens with my game. I got on the practice range yesterday and got something in my head and just really struggled with it today. I didn't show much trust, faith or confidence in anything out there."

Harrington was playing alongside Rory McIlroy and while the world No 2 was suffering a crisis in confidence, the 2007 and 2008 Open champion was saddled with a scrambled brain. "The first two rounds I thought I played well enough tee-to-green, I just didn't hit my wedges very well," he said. "I was sorting that problem out yesterday on the range and it certainly got in my head.

"I wasn't settling on any good thoughts at all. I kind of messed with my head a bit," added Harrington. "My mind was far too active today. I was thinking too much. I didn't know what I was thinking at times and that's a position you don't want to be in."

Harrington is now desperate to clear his head in time for the final Major of the year, the US PGA in three weeks' time.

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