By Fatiha Betscher in Dubai
Padraig Harrington insists he still has the physical ability to win at age of 50 following an eye-catching performance on day three of the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic.
Harrington delighted his strong UAE fan base happily posing for photographs for a long time after two-putting the last for birdie to then move inside the top-10 before officially ending the day tied eleventh.
Harrington was on the left side of the 18th green in two, and studied the 25-yard putt on all sides before sending his third nine-feet past but then delighting the crowd in holing the birdie putt in a round of 69.
The three-time Major winner now tees-up on day four striving to secure his best DP World Tour finish since a sixth in last year’s Dubai event.
“It was a decent round and could have been better”, said Harrington.
“I started well with birdies on two and three, and there were two dropped shots at five and with a three-footer on six that just put me on edge on the greens for the rest of my round.
“It was a nice back nine with the three birdies, and also nice to birdie the last.
“I would love to know the stats of the number of players who are off the green with a putt or miss the green with a chip. I’d say more people have done that this week than in all the times we have been coming here, as they are firmer and faster than ever.
“Yes, the pins are tight, the scoring is about right and you do feel a good score is out there, and you look up and 12-under-par is leading and that’s what it probably should be”.
The 50-year-old Harrington clearly is still excited to be playing near his best on the regular tour despite being eligible to play on the senior’s tour last August.
And while Harrington’s won 15-times on the DP World Tour he’s very confident he can make that 16, if not this week, but in the weeks ahead.
“I am quite a bit back heading to the final round this week, and the pin positions will be savage tomorrow, so it’s like I am going out there and shooting 65”, he said.
“You would have to have a perfect day and birdie the four par-5s, get a couple of breaks and with the greens, as I’ve been saying very firm and fast.
“It’s early season for me. I am seven rounds into it and I am still not trusting certain shots which I could see if it was later in the season.
“So, while I may not win tomorrow, I definitely still feel I can win out here. What I need is to be a little bit more confident and trust myself.
“I still have the physical ability to do it. I still have some good traits. So, I will just keep working away at the things, and I do see an improvement as I am focussing on the right things but it’s still early doors for me.
“I will go out tomorrow and try to play the right shots, certainly through nine holes, and if I have a sniff over the back nine, I will be going all after the win, no matter what happens.”
Harrington finds himself grouped with the England duo of Lee Westwood and Tyrrell Hatton.