Harrington Builds off Oak Hill Momentum
On as tricky a major-championship Sunday as you’ll get, Padraig Harrington shot a 1-under 69 at Oak Hill Country Club after he made the cut – at 51 years old – at the 105th PGA Championship.
Now he comes to the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship looking to build off that momentum – proving that he can compete with the best in the world.
Funny enough, however, even with a very solid made-cut, the PGA Championship winner felt there was more he could have got out of his week in Rochester.
“It was a lot of work last week for a miserable tied 50th,” Harrington said with a smile. “I've got to say, Brooks played great, very convincing win, but I didn't feel in any way out of it or anything like that. The physicality I was well able to deal with, and just need to be a little bit sharper mentally.”
Harrington, who lifted the Wanamaker Trophy in 2008 and will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2024, won four times on PGA Tour Champions in 2022 including his first major on the senior circuit – the U.S. Senior Open.
This year Harrington has made all four cuts in the PGA Tour events he’s competed in, including a tie for 10th at the Valero Texas Open.
Amongst the over-50 crowd, Harrington has done everything except for win, it seems. He has finished outside the top-7 on the leaderboard just once in five tournaments and finished tied for fifth at the PGA Tour Champions’ first major – the Regions Tradition.
“There are some good things in my game. Some good and bad. Like all weeks, you're trying to maybe improve a few of the bad things and keep the good stuff,” Harrington said. “Like I'm not that happy, but I'm not too unhappy with my game at the moment.”
While Harrington said he did hope to tighten up the mental side of his game over the last four days at Oak Hill, this week at Ranch Fields East at PGA Frisco will be a mental challenge, he said. There are tempting lines to take off tee shots, he explained, and success will come when it’s time to pick your moments and take your chances.
“I think there's some variation on the golf course, so the same hole with a different pin position will go from being an opportunity to actually I've got to play safe here and I'll be happy to make my par. It will all depend on the setup on the day and the pin positions and a little bit of the wind,” Harrington said. “It will be a mental test of trying to be patient […] I think that's what Gil (Hanse, the course designer) likes to do: Tempt you.”
While Harrington admitted he was tired after last week’s gruelling effort, including a rain-soaked third round, he is quickly getting acclimated to what it will take to compete in another major this week.
“I think we're going to have an enjoyable week,” Harrington said.
With, hopefully, an enjoyable result.