Monday 19 February 2018

'It changed my posture' - Padraig Harrington reveals the catalyst for his impressive win at the Portugal Masters

Padraig Harrington lines up his winning putt on the 18th green at the Portugal Masters yesterday
Padraig Harrington lines up his winning putt on the 18th green at the Portugal Masters yesterday Newsdesk Newsdesk

Padraig Harrington celebrated the 31st victory of his illustrious career yesterday in Portugal and has revealed the reason behind his change in fortune.

Harrington earned the winners' cheque of €333,000, jumped to 43rd on the Race to Dubai list and is back inside the world's top 100, lying in 97th place after his exploits over the weekend.

Speaking on Game On on 2FM, the three-time major winner revealed that he had an epiphany this week while reading a chapter from the new book of renowned performance coach Dave Alred.

"You can play as good as you like, work as hard as you can but the wins don't happen as often as you think. I play 30 events a year and if you get a win you are pretty much stoked," he said

"I have been playing well for a number of months in terms of thee control I have over the golf ball and feeling good about my golf swing. I've been putting better and feeling great about that, I'm holing more mid-range putts than I've ever holed in my career.

"I've been telling people around me that when I put the two together I'm going to have a bumper week, I'm going to have a week where I can win.

"I think what the gel was this week... I've been reading David Alred's, I work with Dave Alred, and he's just written a book The Pressure Principle. He's Johnny Sexton's kicking coach, Jonny Wilkinson's kicking coach and I've been reading away and I know a lot of the stuff but it hit home, there's a chapter on language, and it really hit home.

"What I've been saying to myself at times, I've just had to catch myself on what I've been saying and my internal talks.

"I've picked up on it a lot this week. I have been working on holistic mental stuff outside the golf course. I've been very relaxed about my golf.

I think this was the added edge, I was watching what I was saying to myself.

"It's not just being positive but watching for the negative generalities you can get into. The good thing about this is that I can see the language change in not only what I was saying to myself on the golf course but I could see a physical change in my posture.

"Probably the most interesting thing to me is people saying 'you had those eyes'. But the interesting thing for me is that that normally is so draining. Those eyes. You can do it for maybe a round and it really takes a lot out of you.

"I was much more relaxed than people thought, even between shots. I was surprised that people thought I had that pose because I wasn't wearing myself out."

Harrington's 261 total was the lowest on the European Tour this season and something which really pleased the Dubliner.

"That's the first time in a long time where I've won with a low score. I have tended to win on the tough courses," he added.

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