Padraig Harrington vowed to bring a better mental attitude to this week’s AT&T at Pebble Beach after admitting that his frustration from a lost ball on Thursday boiled over into Friday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
The European Ryder Cup captain sat out a rare weekend in the desert after returning a two-over par 36-hole total but that only tells part of the story after Harrington admitted that even with his vast experience, he allowed his mind to get the better of him during the Phoenix event.
— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) February 7, 2021
“It was the first cut I’ve missed for a while,” Harrington explained on twitter. “My tournament kind of ended on Thursday. I played very nicely Thursday, should’ve comfortably shot 66, 67, but I hit a ball in the water on 17 and then lost a ball in the rough in the bunker on 18.
“You know, three minutes to find a golf ball is very, very short. You’re a minute into looking for it before you realise you’re actually searching and you really start panicking and it goes by very quickly. That put me in the grump for the next day for sure. I played well on Friday as well but with a grumpy attitude and nothing happened. I didn’t get up and down and left myself too much to do.”
It meant a weekend off for Harrington and plenty of practice ahead of returning to Pebble Beach with this year’s renewal of the AT&T set to go ahead without its Pro-Am aspect and the stars of stage, screen and wider sport that usual accompany the tournament. The event was first played in 1937 as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Amateur but it was not until 1947 that it was played on the Monterey Peninsula, making this year the event’s 74th anniversary hosting along the spectacular Pacific Ocean shoreline.
The professional portion, featuring 156 players, including West Waterford’s Seamus Power, will be played as scheduled, but over only two courses instead of the usual three. Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill will be used. Monterey Peninsula Country Club is the other venue normally used in the tournament but whatever about the venues, Harrington hopes his major winning attitude arrives there with him as he looks to put a disappointing mental performance behind him in Arizona.
“Looking forward to getting to the AT&T now,” Harrington added. “Hopefully I’ll be better mentally, [have a] better attitude. Even at my age you still have to work at that!”