It may be a major week for the over fifties, but Pádraig Harrington is still convinced he can mix it with the young guns and win on the DP World Tour before the end of the year.
Harrington who is in action at the Senior Open Championship in Royal Porthcawl this week recently revealed that he would be prioritising playing on the main tours rather than the Champions Tour stating that he won’t be able to win a tour event in ten years but will be able on the Champions Tour. A revised playing schedule on the main tours will also help aid his unlikely Ryder Cup bid.
“I’ve been playing well, physically capable of competing with the young guys,” said Harrington who made the cut at last week’s Open Championship, taking his major cut record to three from three.
“I go back and play a regular event, and it’s like because it’s an individual one-off event, it’s standing out too much when I’m there. Like there’s — years ago, like I joined the PGA Tour back in 2005 because I wanted to win majors and I was going to major tournaments prior to that and they were all individual stand-out events, and you’re distracted when you’re doing that. You need to play tournaments in a flow.
“So I’m going to play — I think I’m good enough to win on tour, on the regular tour, but I have to get back to in the flow of regular tour events. I can’t just turn up and play one and say hello to my friends and do all that sort of stuff. I have to play three or four of them in a row to get the feel of them and the flow.
“Everything has a flow like that. The reason being, I think I’m in good enough but can’t think playing one I’m going to turn up and everything is familiar and everything is right. I’ve got to play two, three, four in a row and get a feel for it, and that’s my intention. I really feel like I’m actually going to play five European Tour events lined up in my head, and you know, that should give me a good feel for how I stand in junior golf laugh.
“I’m obviously going to play The Irish Open and Wentworth, so I’m probably going to play Czech and Crans Montana and probably going to play Dunhill.”
The 51-year-old was runner-up to fellow former Open champion Darren Clarke last year and having played all four rounds at Hoylake last week, Harrington’s preparation has been more relaxing rather than grinding.
“Hoylake, any of the regular events are big, tough weeks. I’m old at this stage and it does take it out of you. 72 holes is a bit of a grind, so I know when I come to an event like this, main thing is to come fresh and to stay fresh for Sunday, you have to chill a little bit on the Tuesday, Wednesday.
“I drove down here Monday, did nothing. Played 18 holes yesterday and seven holes today. Yet, I could have practiced a bit more on the golf course. There might be one or two things I see during the week that I didn’t know there was a slope there on the green or I didn’t know that bunker was there, maybe not that bunker, but I can handle that as long as I’m fresh and as I said, you know, there’s a good chance going into this, if I’m playing my game, I should be in contention on Sunday afternoon. The main thing to be in contention is to be sharp. You don’t want to be burned out by Sunday.”