Padraig Harrington has arrived in Kuala Lumpur for this week’s Maybank Championship quietly confident his injured wrist has fully healed ahead of teeing-up on the Saujana CC course.
This week is ‘take two’ in Harrington’s attempt to kick-start his 2019 season after injuring his wrist in December after slipping on the staircase of his Dublin residence. It wasn’t till he underwent an x-ray that he realised he’d broken a bone in his wrist.
The injury was no more evident when Harrington attended a press conference on 8th January to be officially confirmed as 2020 European Ryder Cup captain but his wrist heavily strapped and Harrington immediately ruled himself out two events in the UAE as he recovered from the injury.
He entered the Honda Classic earlier this month but the former double PGA National champion was forced to withdraw from the event as doctors were not confident the injury had fully healed and this week Harrington is the lone Irishman in the co-sanctioned European and Asian Tour field.
The now 47-year old Harrington is no stranger competing in steamy KL, having contested the then named Malaysian Open nine times in his career from a first appearance in finishing T4th in 1999 to his last showing in finishing T6th in 2013. While in the 2000 Malaysian Open at Templer Park he finished bogey, bogey to let victory slip and finish with a share of second place.
A year later at Saujana, Harrington lost out in a three-hole play-off in rather bizarre circumstances to then Masters champion, Vijay Singh of Fiji after he had birdied his 69th and 70th holes to move into the lead at 15-under par, with Singh in the group ahead, but then unknown to Harrington, and with no leaderboards on the course, Singh doubled the 17th.
Reports at the time said Harrington was ‘in between clubs’ standing over his second down 17 only to send his approach through the green and take bogey but was still one clear of Singh but Harrington was not aware of that.
“Had I been awre of the situation on 17 I would have been less aggressive,” said Harrington.
But up front, Singh birdied the par-5 18th hole that Harrington failed to match and sent the event into a play-off.
The duo were still even after replaying the 18th twice before heading to the 17th, with Singh making no mistake is posting a victory birdie and Harington walked off with a bogey for a second time over that final day.