Golf: Harrington happy with form despite play-off loss

Padraig Harrington took another step towards the Ryder Cup - despite being denied a fourth European Tour title.

Padraig Harrington took another step towards the Ryder Cup - despite being denied a fourth European Tour title.

Harrington lost out to Vijay Singh on the third hole of a dramatic sudden death play-off in the Malayasian Open.

But he was delighted to have played so well in only his second tournament of the season.

"If you had offered me second place coming out here I would have been thrilled not knowing what my form was," said Harrington.

"I've changed my swing and it's very encouraging to finish second knowing that the swing could be better.

"I have plenty of things to get right but I know what they are. I'm disappointed to have finished second but pleased to have made such a good run at it with birdies at the 13th, 15th and 16th.

"I came out here expecting to get some nice practice done and a bit of competition, I didn't realise I'd be straight into the thick of it straight away."

Singh therefore claimed the £104,000 first prize and his eighth European Tour title but Harrington had the consolation of knowing his £69,779 for second had lifted him to third in the Ryder Cup points standings and within sight of guaranteeing his place in Sam Torrance's side for the Belfry in September.

"I guess I feel pretty good although a bit disappointed with the way I finished, double-bogeying the 17th in regulation," Singh said. "During the wait for Padraig to finish my wife Ardina (who is Malaysian) gave me a hard time about going out of bounds on the 17th.

"We had talked about it the day before and she said 'Surely you're not going to go with the driver'.

"As it turned out I did not hit it as bad as it finished, it hit somebody's shoe and then the cart path and went out of bounds. I don't know whose foot it was but I wish it could find out! When I came back there in the play-off I was focused on what I had to do and hit it on the green.

"I was happy with the way I was striking the ball and coming off a good week in the States (finishing second at Pebble Beach two weeks ago) gave me a lot of confidence.

"I had high expectations coming over here, I've played here so many times and I know there is a lot of support for me so it was nice to finish the way I did."

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