Harrington’s short-game cause for concern ahead of PGA Championship

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Padraig Harrington (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

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Padraig Harrington admits his short-game performance at last week’s AT&T Byron Nelson has him a little concerned ahead of teeing up this week at the year’s second Major at Kiawah Island.

The three-time Major winner arrived to the PGA Championship venue and made a bee-line for the short-game area, let-down badly at TPC Craig Ranch by a short-game that ordinarily you could set your watch to. The Dubliner was well placed after an opening 66 in Texas but his wizardry around the greens abandoned him on Friday, a second round 75 and a missed cut ensuing for Europe’s Ryder Cup Captain.

“I played very well the first day, shot 66 and left a few shots out there but Friday was not good,” said Harrington, the 2008 PGA Champion.

“I know it was a little tougher, a little windier but my chipping and putting really let me down – very badly – so much so I’m a bit worried about it coming into the PGA Championship this week.

“I’m down here doing a bit of practice on it – a lot of work on it – not that I don’t do all the work on it normally but there’s a little bit of concern there. It’s something that if I want to do well here Kiawah Island, I’m certainly going to have to improve on the chipping and putting.”

Harrington was speaking from the practice ground on site at the Ocean Course, reserving praise for last week’s maiden winner, KH Lee, his former Irish Olympic teammate Seamus Power, and even the set-up at TPC Craig Ranch, despite his three-under par halfway total missing the cut by three.

“I enjoyed last week all the same,” he said. “Congratulations to KH Lee on his win. Well done to Seamus Power as well, it was a fairly brave try there. Interesting golf course. It wasn’t a tough golf course but it was in great shape which was very nice for us – that’s why the scoring was so good and it was a nice variation compared to what we get most weeks. We’ve obviously moved on now to the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island and looking forward to a good week here.”

Harrington’s no stranger to Kiawah Island having teed up the last time the PGA Championship came to South Carolina. That year, Harrington bounced back from a second round 76 with weekend scores of 69 and 72 for a one-under total – good enough for a share of 18th alongside John Daly. He finished 12 shots back of a certain Rory McIlroy then but how the now 49-year old will fare on a golf course set to be played at over 7,800 yards this week remains to be seen. With the wind expected to blow, it’s hard to see how such a layout could suit anyone!

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