Pádraig Harrington happy with US PGA date changes

Pádraig Harrington is delighted the US PGA is moving from August to May because it improves his chances of winning The Players and the BMW PGA.

The date change means The Players will revert to its traditional March date while the European Tour’s decision to move the flagship Wentworth event from May to September is another plus for the Dubliner.

“I like the changes,” Harrington said. “Not only is the Ryder Cup going to be brought forward two weeks but I like Sawgrass in March and Wentworth in September.

Harrington was second at TPC Sawgrass in 2003 and 2004 when The Players was played in March but has missed the cut four times and never finished higher than 49th since it moved to May.”

As for his hopes of winning a fourth major and a second US PGA this week, the 45-year-old confessed that Quail Hollow looked a tough test after his first practice round.

“The golf course seems very difficult,” Harrington said before heading to Tuesday’s Champions’ Dinner. “A lot of balls on the greens are running off and they are running off into collars of rough and you are chipping up the slope and it can come back to you.

“All I know is that it seems very difficult but I am better than the rest at that, so I will take my chances.”

Ranked 146th in the world, Harrington is seeking his first win since the 2016 Portugal Masters: “My game has been fine for a good while and it just depends on whether it clicks,” he said. “I didn’t play well today which has thrown me a bit because I have been finding the game reasonably easy for quite a while. So I am just waiting for my turn, I’ve been happy with my game for a year now.”

As for his gruelling first practice round, he said he wouldn’t push any panic buttons until he has a card in his hand.

“If there’s one thing that experience tells me, it’s never minding how you are playing on a Tuesday or Wednesday, let’s see how you are playing on a Thursday.”

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