Padraig Harrington has paid tribute to his Ryder Cup partner Karlsson, but warned he has not given up hope of a second Order of Merit title.
Harrington, winner of back-to-back majors in the Open Championship and USPGA Championship this season, lies second on the money list as he seeks to regain the title he won in 2006 when the season-ending Volvo Masters under way on Thursday.
Sweden’s Robert Karlsson is in pole position to end the year as European number one for the first time, but three of his Valhalla team-mates can still lift the Harry Vardon Trophy at Valderrama.
Third in the standings is Lee Westwood, who won the title in 2000 to end Colin Montgomerie’s seven-year reign, while fourth placed Miguel Angel Jimenez still has an outside chance of landing his first Order of Merit title.
“I know what I need to do this week,” Harrington told www.europeantour.com.
“I’ve got to go out there and try and win the tournament, and there are two bonuses with that.
“If I win the tournament, I win the Order of Merit so that’s what’s in my mind for the week.
“Robert has played great all year. I think he’s been very motivated on working on the right things the last couple of years and really has brought his game to a new level. If he wins on Sunday, he thoroughly deserves it.
“Robert has performed more consistently in Europe than I have throughout the year, so consistency-wise, and that’s what an Order of Merit is, he probably deserves it.
“But that doesn’t mean he gets it. We have to wait until Sunday to sort that out.”