Pádraig Harrington not giving up hope of claiming would-be second Irish Open title

Pádraig Harrington not giving up hope of claiming would-be second Irish Open title

Pádraig Harrington has not given up hope of claiming what would be his second Irish Open title despite a hugely disappointing second round thee-over score of 73 at a gloomy and wet Old Course in Lahinch on Friday morning.

All told, the Dubliner's day was in marked contrast to his opening effort here in Clare when he posted a superb seven-under 63 under under the glare of a burning sun and assume the overnight lead by a single stroke.

Harrington bogeyed four holes on the way out this time but managed to come back in one-under par with a birdie at the par-five 18th which was inches away from being an eagle. A satisfactory end at least to a very difficult day.

“Yesterday was tough and sunny but today was that rain and those cross winds that made some of those pin positions look very difficult and I lost a lot of momentum, (with) a couple of bad three-putts,” he explained after his three-over effort.

“Not that they were so bad but at 1, 3, 5 I made bogeys. On 3, 5, 7 the three of them were three putts and a bad up-and-down on the first.

You need a strong short game on a tough day and I didn't have it today and that was a pity. I was a little bit tentative and I paid the price for it. It makes it awkward.

Harrington admitted to being tentative starting out due to his place at the summit and after so many months battling a wrist injury and poor form. That, and his below-par short game, cost him dearly in very tough early conditions.

He celebrated his 63 on Thursday with a '99' ice-cream after a round which he described as “easy” and a “stroll in the park” but there will be no treats this time as he takes stock of a game that is still short of where it needs to be.

“A 73 does not deserve a '99',” he laughed.

Pádraig Harrington not giving up hope of claiming would-be second Irish Open title

“I probably will hit some chips. I will definitely practise my chipping a bit. Hard to recreate the chips. I haven't found a spot yet that gives me an interest in chipping here so that is a bit difficult.

“The chips on the course are great shots and I just haven't found a chipping green here. There is a couple of them. I am going to go look for a more interested chipping green to get myself up to speed on those chip and runs.”

It wasn't just his own failings that stopped him generating any momentum. Harrington had none of the luck that contributed to his efforts less than 24 hours around the same links.

Golf is a strange game. Myself and Ian Poulter were in the bunker on eleven and my ball was cupped down in the sand. Not a chance of me getting the ball anywhere close and Ian's is sitting up nicely and he has a great chance. It's amazing.

"I got all the breaks yesterday and I wasn't getting them today.

“That's the nature of this game. I hit some bad shots today and I was putting up and over slopes whereas yesterday if I hit the same shot I was just on the right side of the slope putting up the slope for an easy two-putt. With golf you just have to play your way through and not make a big deal about any one-hole situation.”

He had said on Wednesday that his focus right now was on getting his game as good as he could for the Open Championship in Portrush later this month. That is still the long-term goal, even as he keeps one eye on more immediate concerns.

“Oh I am very much thinking of winning this week but I am overall focused,” he explained.

I am certainly not playing to finish twelfth or anything like that but I am playing to see where my game is at.

“I'm trying to get my routine sharp, which was a lot harder today in the rain. I saw some good stuff yesterday and I'm going to keep going with that now for the next few weeks and see where we stand.”

More on this topic

Rampaging Rahm now targets Seve hat-trickRampaging Rahm now targets Seve hat-trick

‘Mixed emotions’ but dogged Dawson moving up the ranks‘Mixed emotions’ but dogged Dawson moving up the ranks

'We’re thrilled for the community, we’re thrilled for Clare''We’re thrilled for the community, we’re thrilled for Clare'

Lowry and Harrington differ on date dilemma for 2020 Irish OpenLowry and Harrington differ on date dilemma for 2020 Irish Open

More in this Section

Man City still grounded as pre-season flight to China delayed for second timeMan City still grounded as pre-season flight to China delayed for second time

Leeds land in Australia – but boss Marcelo Bielsa will be late to the partyLeeds land in Australia – but boss Marcelo Bielsa will be late to the party

Hamilton celebrates joining Formula One’s greatsHamilton celebrates joining Formula One’s greats

Football rumours from the mediaFootball rumours from the media


Lifestyle

Their romance took Laura Roset and Ken Mohally from Mallow to Moldova and back again.Wedding of the Week: Love spreads from Mallow to Moldova

As the Caped Crusader hits 80 years of protecting Gotham City, Chris Wasser looks at the history of the world’s darkest superhero.80 years on, Batman still packs a punch

Despite the many issues in the housing market, the number of mortgages being approved is rising, with first-time buyers making up the bulkMaking Cents: Key points for people buying their first house

When it comes to music podcasts, the actual tunes themselves are not essential — the best series discuss around the music.Podcast Corner: Digging deep with music podcasts

More From The Irish Examiner