Harrington’s Schwab Cup Championship challenge still on track

Mark McGowan

Padraig Harrington (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Padraig Harrington fired a second-round 64 to remain in contention at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, though hopes of overtaking Steven Alker atop the season-long rankings remain slim after the New Zealander shot a 64 of his own to lead the Dubliner by a single stroke at the halfway mark.

In the penultimate group, Harrington got off to a perfect start, birdieing four of his opening five holes, before adding two more on 10 and 12. A loose tee-shot on the par-3 15th was lucky to come to rest on dry land inside the hazard line, but he was unable to hole his five-footer for par. However, the Dubliner responded in trademark fashion with birdies on the closing two holes to reach the clubhouse at 11-under.

Playing in the final group, Alker carded seven birdies in a bogey-free round to maintain his advantage and move a step closer to the $1 million bonus pay-out for topping the rankings.

Since graduating to the senior circuit, consistency has been Alker’s trademark, hitting fairways, greens and holing more than his fair share of putts, rendering the collapse necessary to see him finish outside the top five highly unlikely.

“Unfortunately, though I’m doing decent in the tournament, Steve is relentless,” Harrington said after his round, “and fair play to him. He’s out there under a lot of pressure, to be leading the tournament as well as anything else and he’s playing great.”

Harrington and Alker will be paired together for the third round, and though Harrington is relishing the opportunity of going head-to-head for the tournament, he feels his chances of topping the order of merit are slim at best.

“I’m focused on what I’m doing, trying to play my own game and obviously hoping to win this tournament, but you’ve got to think, the Schwab Cup, you’ve got to think it’s a bit of a long shot at this time for Steve to finish outside the top five, so it’s all about trying to win this tournament.

“Maybe we could do a negotiation, he lets me win and he can have the Schwab cup,” he quipped, “but look, it’s another 36 holes of golf, I’ve got to go out there and keep my head in the game as I’ve been doing all year, and hopefully it’s another 36 holes where I get my routines right, get my focus right, and you know, things fall into place.”

While Harrington’s challenge maintained pace, Darren Clarke’s hopes of ending the year on a winning note ground to a halt after the Senior Open Champion carded two birdies and two bogeys enroute to a level-par 71, leaving himself ten strokes adrift at three-under.


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One response to “Harrington’s Schwab Cup Championship challenge still on track”

  1. Willie avatar

    Go for it padraig, everything just might fall into place 🤞

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