Monday, October 24

Padraig Harrington: 'I Was in a Nice Place Mentally'

By Brian Keogh

Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.

FEW PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT PADRAIG HARRINGTON can win a fourth major, but after averaging 25 putts per day and shooting the lowest winning aggregate of his 21-year professional career to claim the Portugal Masters, writing him off now would be the height of folly.

The 45-year old Dubliner insisted just minutes after the Ryder Cup ended three weeks ago that he wants to play in 2018 in Paris rather than captain Europe.

He clearly has unfinished business on tour and after carding a six under par 65 that featured a devastating display of short game brilliance and an eye-popping performance with the putter, it may be some time before he's ready to hang up the spikes and reach for the keys to the captain's buggy.

Three up-and-downs on the last three holes gave Harrington a one-shot win over current Ryder Cup player Andy Sullivan, the defending champion, on 23 under par.

And he insisted afterwards that while the course was right up his street — light rough and receptive greens allowing him the freedom to shoot at every pin with impunity given his short game sharpness — it was the mental game that made the difference.

"I was in a nice place mentally," Harrington insisted. "I've been reading Dave Alred's 'The Pressure Principle' and it gave me a few pointers that maybe I'd been missing out on and I stuck to those all week.

"It was a big plus for me. I just realised how poor my own language is about myself and my game. So I was very focused on my self-talk this week and what I was saying to myself and very focused on my posture walking around on the golf course and it was a tremendous help."

Brian Keogh contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.

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