Padraig Harrington found his way to Phoenix, Arizona excited at the thought of a hopeful first victory in over four years.
Harrington will join Rory McIlroy in this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open after sharing sixth place at the close of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Europe’s Ryder Cup captain birdied three of his inward half holes in a round of 70 for a nine-under par tally on the Emirates club course in Dubai. The result was his best European Tour finish since a fifth-place result at the KLM Open in September, 2018.
“It was a pretty intimidating Dubai last round and I can only tell you that the greens felt like a U.S. Open as it was hard to hit a confident putt so it was really very testing in that sense and you can see that in the scoring,” said Harrington.
Harrington’s result earned the 49-year-old Dubliner €77,666 to take his European Tour career earnings alone to some €83,000 shy of €27million in 447 European counting events. Also, in one of his biggest World Ranking jumps in some time, Harrington moved up 64 places to be the new World No. 244. It is Harrington’s highest world ranking since May 2019.
But creating more excitement for Harrington was reigniting last week in Dubai that inner fire that has seen the proud Irishman win 31 times around the globe. And that will be the goal as he tees-up Stateside in six events over the coming eight weeks.
“I’ve got this week’s Phoenix Open, the AT&T and the Genesis Invitational, so that’s three events and then playing Bay Hill, the Honda Classic and the Valero Texas Open,” he said. “So, that’s my upcoming schedule so I’m not into the two WGC events, unfortunately.
“What I need is a win. I could do with a win. It’s a long trip from Dubai to the States but I just have to get my head around playing as I can see myself getting up there in contention for a win. I do need to be better than I was in Dubai in the sense of mentally but this week has been a good reminder of what I should be doing.”
Harrington will be making his seventh appearance in Phoenix since his debut in 2003 but it’s been four years since he last teed-up on the TPC Scottsdale course. And he will not want reminding that from 2014 to 2017, Harrington missed four Phoenix cuts in succession.
IRISH WORLD RANKINGS – WEEK 5, 2021
- No. 6 – Rory McIlroy (Up 1)
- No. 37 – Shane Lowry (Down 1)
- No. 91 – Graeme McDowell (Down 4)
- No. 244 – Padraig Harrington (Up 64)
- No. 366 – Jonathon Caldwell (Down 4)
- No. 406 – Cormac Sharvin (Down 6)
- No. 436 – Seamus Power (Down 1)
- No. 801 – Paul Dunne (Down 20)
- No. 814 – Gavin Moynihan (Down 7)
- No. 1837 – Darren Clarke (Up 10)