Harrington masters mental game as he goes in bid for back-to-back PGA Tour Champions wins

Adam McKendry
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Harrington masters mental game as he goes in bid for back-to-back PGA Tour Champions wins

Padraig Harrington (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Having powered through the mental fatigue of playing the week after a win, Pádraig Harrington believes he is in an excellent position to go back-to-back on the PGA Tour Champions at this week’s Ally Challenge.

The 50-year-old won at last week’s DICK’S Sporting Goods Open and has followed that up by placing himself just one shot off the lead heading into the final round in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

Six birdies in a bogey-free six-under 66 at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club moved Harrington into a share of second at 10-under-par, a single stroke back of leader Scott Dunlap, who had a superb 63 on day two.

And after conceding he had to battle through the post-winner’s fatigue in his opening round this week, the former European Ryder Cup captain is confident of making it two from two on Sunday and picking up his third seniors win of the season.

“Yesterday I struggled at the end of the (first) round. I got really, really mentally tired. That kind of happens when you won the week before. You don’t realise how much it takes out of you,” said Harrington, who is yet to drop a shot at Warwick Hills.

“I got some good recovery in for today. And I held it all the way through today. Yeah, so I’m in a good place going in tomorrow, and hopefully more of what I saw today or last week will go nicely tomorrow.”

An incredible finish took Dunlap one clear at the top of the leaderboard, the American carding five birdies in his last six holes for his 63, the best round of anybody in the field this week, which has him at 11-under-par.

Harrington is joined at 10-under by his opposing Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker, who was also in fine form on day two with a 64, and Brett Quigley, with Duffy Waldorf, Ernie Els and Stephen Ames a shot further back at nine-under.

Overnight leader Fred Funk struggled in his second round, however, a three-over 75 dropping him down to tied-26th at four-under-par.

SCORING

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