x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Harrington hunts for missing titles

One of the things to have made Padraig Harrington a three-time major champion is that he is so incredibly hard on himself.

One of the things to have made Padraig Harrington a three-time major champion is that he is so incredibly hard on himself. He has just flown into St Andrews from America, where he had six top-10 finishes in a row, and yet there is no question of him giving himself a proverbial pat on the back. With no wins under his belt for this season, he is desperate to come out on top in this week's Dunhill Links Championship over all three of St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.

"It would be easy to say, 'Oh well, I had a productive first seven months of the year without performing on the golf course, and then I had a reasonable bit of form over the last six weeks'," volunteered the Irishman. "But to be honest, when we get into 2010, the only way you judge 2009 in on the number of times you've won." After he captured the Open in 2007, he endeavoured to improve his technique over the winter and, after he had won both the Open and the PGA Championship in 2008, he tried to do the same again.

Some might ponder at why he would want to keep fiddling with a swing which has wrought such magic but, as he keeps saying himself, he has to have this feeling of moving forward. This year, though he had to wait rather too long to start playing as he can, he has had no regrets about his modus operandi. In spite of his struggles, he feels he finally got to the bottom of something which had been annoying him for years.

Namely, a cupping of the left wrist which was contributing to his coming into the ball with the club's face a tad open. Now that he has identified the problem, he is itching to put it right. But not just yet. "I've got the Dunhill Championship to think about," he reminded his audience. For the record, he has won it twice before, in 2002 and 2006. sports@thenational.ae