Pádraig Harrington will bid to build on encouraging form in the United States this week by finally getting to grips with Wentworth’s West Course at the BMW PGA Championship.
The three-time major winner flies into England following his four under par finish at the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Texas (seven shots behind winner Jason Dufner in tied 15th), for just his fifth appearance in the European Tour’s flagship tournament since 2002. Harrington may have tamed Carnoustie, Birkdale and Oakland Hills in winning his majors, but the greens on Wentworth’s West Course have caused him to return just two sixth place finishes, 2006 and 2010, as his best efforts in 11 starts since 1996.
The Dubliner has even stayed away from the BMW Championship on four occasions, preferring to play US events instead in this end of May slot, and while he has missed both the 2009 and 2011 tournaments through injury he will return to Surrey intent on reversing his fortunes there.
“I have found Wentworth difficult over the years and it’s not a golf course I’ve found easy, I’ve done well to finish top-10 there,” Harrington said. “But I would dearly love to win the PGA Championship.
“In terms of heritage, a lot’s made of the TPC (Players’ Championship) but the BMW’s been there a lot longer.
“I wouldn’t swap two BMWs for a major or anything like that but I’d still love to have it on my CV.”
Harrington fans unable to get to Wentworth will be able to track the Dubliner’s progress via the golfer’s new iPhone app, which he has just launched with London-based sports marketing company Athlete Factor and combines voice and video content as well as his individual live scoring from tournaments. Admittedly slow to embrace such media, Harrington said he was dipping his toe in the water with this.
“I don’t like following the pack or being second to anything. Hopefully the app is something original. It will manage all those standard social media platforms you see, like Facebook and Twitter, but there will be a lot more there. There will be live scoring from the tournaments I’m playing in, which no other player app offers. There will be the tournament previews and reviews, videos and photos, and in time there will be swing tips.”
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