Fatiha Betscher, Gullane, Scotland
Padraig Harrington is heading south and not looking to make-up the Royal Liverpool numbers in his 26th Open Championship following his his top-50 finish at the Genesis Scottish Open.
Harrington did end on the bogey train with three consecutive bogeys to finish in a four-over-par round of 74, giving him a three-under tally in really tough, windy conditions. So tough, in fact, that the wind-whipping across the nearby Forth of Firth had it looking akin to a washing machine.
Fortunately, Tour officials did the best they could by moving some tees forward and providing overall generous pin positions for the final round, with tee-times also brought forward for a second day running.
“The conditions were much tougher there at the end but the good thing is that they set-up the holes easy enough,” said Harrington.
“Though saying that, the 17th and 18th holes were playing really tough but they did set-up the golf course pretty easy all the way around.
“It was one of those days where you know you going to make a few bogeys but as long as you keep making a couple of birdies.
“We know that golfers come off the course all the time saying it wasn’t my day, I didn’t get the breaks and so on, and it certainly seemed like that for me but the whole week was pretty good for me.
“I didn’t come out on top in the putting stats but I’ve played a lot worse and done a lot better, and I’m not as chirpy today as I was two days ago”.
In fact, Harrington managed birdies at the second, fifth and 10th holes but dropped shots at four, six, eight, 13 and on the closing three.
Then in yet another reflection of his character he happily signed all of the autographs from those waiting for him prior to heading to the clubhouse to clean out his locker and turn his focus to this week’s 151st Open Championship.
Harrington made his Open Championship debut at Royal Lytham and St. Annes in 1996, finishing T18th behind American Tom Lehman.
And now, all these years later, the soon-to-be 52-year-old is teeing-up in yet another Open Championship.
“Yes, my thoughts now turn to Royal Liverpool and while I’ve been there a couple of times before (2006 and 2014), I’ve never done well,” said Harrington who missed the cut on both visits.
“I don’t know why that is, so I am hoping the golf course will be a little bit kinder to me.
“I’m going there not thinking that I have won The Open twice before, you go there just to try and do your job properly. Though there will come a year I will go there and just wave to the crowd,” he added with a smile.
“The great thing about Royal Liverpool is that I played the Home Internationals there as an amateur (In 1993) and won all my matches.”
And when reminded that this week will be his 26th Open, Harrington said: “Wow! My 26th Open! I know I missed 2005 when my dad passed away. So, it’s 26 Opens”