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Tuesday 19 September 2017

Harrington: My Major mission

Dubliner targeting return to glory

PADRAIG HARRINGTON, down to a shocking 89th in the world rankings, expects to win more Majors.

Not just hopes to, but expects to.

"That's a big, strong word, but I do - yeah," the 40-year-old Dubliner said today at Fancourt in South Africa, where his season starts with the Volvo Golf Champions.

"I didn't have a great year last year, but it doesn't worry me in the greater scheme of things because I know you just can't win them every year.

"You have to sit there and be patient - and, like 2007 and 2008, they all come at once."

Three years ago Harrington became the first European since 1906 to make a successful defence of the Open, then a month later became the first European to win the USPGA Championship since 1930.

Last season, though, the best he did in the majors was 45th at the US Open. Missed cuts at the Masters and Open accelerated his slump down the rankings.

"When you look at Nick Faldo it took him 20-25 years (as a professional) to win six," he said.

"They don't come around that easy.

"People have this idea that just because you play well and you win one you should be doing that every year.



Burden

"That's the hardest thing. It definitely puts a big burden on anybody who wins a major, it really does."

Now 15 months on from his last tournament victory, Harrington has done a lot of analysing things and still took positives out of last season.

"I sorted out a neck injury, then found something in my mental game and got to the bottom of something in my swing which had been annoying me.

"But I have to accept that results last year were poor."

With the world's top four of Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer all deciding not to play - they along with Woods start in Abu Dhabi next week - this week is a golden opportunity for him to stop the slide and start climbing again.

With the Ryder Cup in mind, Harrington desperately wants to be back in the world's top 64 for next month's Accenture world match play and the top 50 for the Cadillac world championship in Miami two weeks later.

A win on Sunday will achieve the first of those, although the cut-off point for Tucson is not for another three weeks. Darren Clarke also features this week.

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