Padraig Harrington is confident of taking his delightful Turkish Airlines form into this week’s Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa with this week’s event at Sun City, on the third longest course in European Tour history, being Harrington’s last this year on the European Tour.
Harrington made the most of his invitation last week in Turkey to secure a solo fourth place, and it was his best effort in an annoying double injury troubled season.
“I felt good last week in Turkey and thought it was going to be my tournament,” he said. “Overall, I was very happy as I hit a lot of really nice shots down the stretch and had chances.”
“The only thing I don’t need to do this week is to make bogey from the middle of the fairway as I did that twice and from about 100 yards out.”
Just like last week, Harrington will only earn World Ranking and Ryder Cup points and not Race to Dubai points given he is on an invitation having failed to qualify for the Finals Series and he officially ended his 22nd European Tour season three weeks ago at 117th on the money list.
Shane Lowry had joined Harrington and Paul Dunne on last Sunday’s direct flight from Turkey to South Africa, delighted to have secured his place also in next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Lowry went into the last day sharing the lead but a poor driving display saw him fade to a share of eighth and five off Justin Rose’s winning score. The result, however, saw Lowry jump a lucky 13 spots to 49th on the Race to Dubai with the leading 60 at the end of this week’s South African event headed to Dubai.
“I gained a lot of positives in Turkey despite the disappointment of my finish,” said Lowry. “It is also nice now to be assured of going back to Dubai where I have done well.”
“I am teeing-up this week here at Sun City hopeful I have sorted out my driving as that aspect of my game needs to be strong as it a tight driving course. But I will be fine and looking back on Turkey and my last half-a-dozen events, I have played pretty decent so I am really happy where my game is”.
Lowry had played the last day in Turkey alongside Harrington after spending countless hours together on the Regnum Carya range and then eating out each night in the 7-star hotel.
“It was the best I had seen Padraig play in a long while so I was delighted for him,” said Lowry. “He was great company as he always is and took on every shot, so if I could not have won I was wishing Padraig could.”
NEDBANK CHALLENGE – IRISH TEE TIMES (Irish time)
Shane Lowry – 7.45am
Padraih Harrington –8.17am
Paul Dunne – 8.39am.
MAYAKOBA CLASSIC – IRISH TEE TIMES (Irish time)
Seamus Power – 1.40pm
Graeme McDowell – 5.10pm