Harrington recovers from double bogey to get within one of lead

Ronan MacNamara

Padraig Harrington (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Padraig Harrington’s hopes of a second senior major title are very much alive after a strong finish saw him move to within one of Ernie Els and Doug Barron at the Regions Tradition.

After carding a birdie on the 10th, Harrington double bogeyed the par-4 11th but he finished with a flourish, birdieing 13 and 18 for a 69 to move to 3rd place on twelve-under-par.

“You know, you want to finish with a birdie. The eighteenth I hit. You got to hit the shots. I hit driver, seven-iron but you still got to hit you know, I hit two good shots. Second one came out a bit spinny so I was lucky enough to get up on the green had a decent eagle chance but not unhappy just to have birdied the last in the sense of you know, it’s important. That little bit extra movement forward.”

The Dubliner opened his round with back-to-back birdies but it was all pars until that eventful back nine, but the four-time major winner had to rely on his short game to keep himself alive with some clutch up and downs throughout the day.

“Wasn’t as good as yesterday you know. I think I was number one in fairways hit yesterday. Today just wasn’t quite there mentally. Got up and down a lot. So yeah, I got a pretty good score but obviously there you know, I was on a decent run when I hit it out of bounds on the eleventh, but this course is like that. They’re all, every hole is a dogleg. There’s no balance left and right. I’m playing in a straitjacket. I’m just like, yeah, this place will keep me awake at night.”

South African legend, Els, carded a 70 to move to thirteen-under while Barron climbed alongside him with a 66.

Overnight leader and back-to-back defending champion Steve Stricker is on eleven-under after a 73 but Harrington still sees the American as the danger man heading into Sunday.

“He’s won three of the last four years so you got to pay attention to Steve here. Ernie played behind me all week and he looks like he’s got the bit between his teeth. He looks pretty good too. So, yeah, I think yeah, there’s a number of players who won’t shy away from winning, Which is, you know, that means you got to go and take it yourself. You know, I don’t think anybody’s gonna give this tournament away tomorrow, in the sense of there’s enough guys up there that somebody’s gonna go out there and have to have to win it.”

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