Friday 15 December 2017

Slimline Harrington insists he's ready to set hearts racing once more

Karl MacGinty

TRIPLE Major champion Padraig Harrington isn't the man he used be ... fact! Harrington reveals he's lost "probably about 12 pounds" in weight since last November.

When a reporter said he looked 'very thin', the Dubliner insisted the proper word was "fit!".

Had it been deliberate?

"Absolutely, there's nothing wrong with being fit," answered Harrington, saying he now weighed "about 12 and a half stone". Incidentally, this is 20 pounds lighter than his listing in the official 2010 PGA Tour Guide.

Is he on a new fad diet? "No," he replied. "I eat all I want when I want. It's pretty straightforward -- I wear a monitor and it measures exactly how many calories I burn up each day.

"It kind of stops me obsessing. I used be always thinking 'have I eaten enough today? Did I get enough energy in (to keep going on the golf course)?'."

Harrington wears the heart monitor under his golf shirt. Incidentally, his heart pumps at 40 beats per minute, about half the rate of the average 38-year-old.

The Irishman also brings a refractometer in his suitcase to measure the 'index of refraction' of his urine each day, which medics use to measure his hydration and physical stress levels.

Sadly, Harrington turned in a relatively lightweight performance at the US Open.

Having keyhole surgery on his right knee four weeks before the tournament can't have helped, though Harrington said it didn't have any bearing on his lacklustre performance at Pebble Beach.

"I hit it poorly on Friday and I'm not 100pc sure why," said the Dubliner, whose challenge fizzled out on Saturday after a 74 left him tied tied 20th on seven-over entering the final round.

Gareth Maybin (29) finished his first Major on a high note, landing a birdie on the final hole of his fourth-round 75 yesterday, this four-over-par effort leaving him at 16-over for the championship.

The man from Ballyclare made it into the US Open by birdying four of his last six holes in international qualifying at Walton Heath and then squeezed through the 36-hole cut on the mark at seven-over with an eagle at 18 on Friday.

The highlight of his week? Getting engaged to girlfriend Liz McMeekin on Tuesday.

Golf giveth: first round leader Shawn Micheel's tournament was fizzling out when he made a rare albatross two, hitting a 3-iron 239 yards into the cup at the par-five sixth yesterday. Golf taketh away: moments later the American made a double-bogey five at tiny 109-yard seventh.

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