Pádraig Harrington returns to action for the first time since his dramatic victory in the Honda Classic in this week’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club.
Harrington’s first win on a major worldwide tour since the 2008 US PGA Championship secured his return to the Masters next month, and lifted him back inside the world’s top 100, but did not get him a place in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.
That at least allowed the 43-year-old three-time major winner the time to reflect on his victory, which came in a play-off with American rookie Daniel Berger after a double bogey on the 71st hole.
“It feels great to have won and now that I have done so, I have allowed myself to think of the things that come with it, the Masters, the Players, WGC-Bridgestone and I am exempt for three years on the PGA Tour, but above all, that confidence a win brings,” Harrington wrote on his official website.
“It has been tough at times but the last couple of months, with my two wins (he won in Indonesia in December), have made it worthwhile.
“I never doubted myself, I know a lot of people did and many asked me why I would do things differently, but then that wouldn’t be me.
“I don’t feel any different now that I have won, as I always felt that the win was around the corner.
“Little did I know that it was going to be a nearly seven-year corner and then, like buses, two come along one after the other.
“I feel that I have found the mental solution that I have been searching for and that I will kick on from here. I know that it won’t work all of the time, but that some of the time it is good enough.”
Harrington has been paired with world number two Jordan Spieth and former Masters champion Adam Scott for the first two rounds, Scott finishing joint fourth in the WGC-Cadillac Championship on Sunday in his first start of the season. Fellow Australian John Senden is the defending champion.
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