Friday 24 November 2017

No end in sight of Padraig tailspin

Padraig Harrington
Padraig Harrington

Karl McGinty

GOLF is not a game of perfect!

Glory to the days Padraig Harrington used to live and play by that mantra, which was coined by Dr Bob Rotella and served as the title of his best-selling and most famous book on the psychology of golf.

As Harrington on Sunday tumbled ever deeper into the vortex which has consumed him in recent years, one must wonder if he still keeps this bible by his bedside on Tour.

While there is much to admire in the 41-year-old Dubliner's unceasing pursuit of excellence, Harrington's incessant tweaking and fiddling has combined in recent years to leave him bereft of confidence.

There was much to commend in Harrington's honestly in the wake of the two opening rounds of 66 which appeared to thrust him into contention at the Travelers for his first victory in five years on either the US or European Tours.

BURSTING

"It's not like I'm cheering from the rooftops or bursting with confidence out there," he said of a performance too often reinforced by a sequence of improbably long putts.

His lack of confidence was well-placed on Sunday as he staggered to a 10-over-par 80, in which 34 putts, including two three-putts and four misses from five feet or less, surely deflated the confidence he'd gradually built over 21 tournament rounds with the controversial new belly putter in his hands.

It was possible in recent weeks almost to discern a gradual return to the swashbuckling, short-game maestro golf of old.

Yet the wonderfully imperfect Harrington, who used to look as if he enjoyed getting into trouble just for the fun of getting out of it, vanished once again on Sunday.

Instead, he returns to this week's Irish Open with precious little hope or expectation... good grief, maybe it's time to start piling the money on!

Irish Independent

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