Padraig Harrington may have only the slimmest of chances to regain the PGA Championship he won eight years ago, but the the three-time major champion insists there are plenty of incentives to put in a good performance over the weekend at Baltusrol, writes Simon Lewsi.
Harrington will start Saturday's third round at one over par, 10 shots behind halfway leaders Jimmy Walker and Robert Streb of the United States.
Yet with the Dubliner keen to make the most of his chance to represent Ireland at the Olympics when golf re-enters the Games schedule in Rio on August 11, and the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup play-offs following that, two good rounds at the PGA will do him the power of good.
“The next 36 holes there’s lots ot play for, building form for the Olympics is another thing,” Harrington said following his second-round level-par 70 on Friday night.
“For me, I need a good performance to move up in the FedEx Cup and that’s probably the goal for me, two good scores.
“The lead came back the last time we were here (for the 2005 PGA Championship), Sunday proved to be very difficult, you never know what’s going to win. Shoot two good ones over the weekend. I am not going out to shoot two 70s.”
Harrington felt his second-round 70 was an opportunity missed, saying: “The golf course was there for the taking but because it's a major, you tend to play it tentatively. I played lovely golf yesterday. I played very tentative today and I needed to get a couple under par so that I wasn't looking at the cutline, I was looking at going forward.
“I played a tentative round. Thankfully I putted quite nicely.
“I'd love to play golf like I did (in the first round) every day and I'd love to putt like I did (in the second) every day. Just need do it for the one day.”