Golf: Harrington's chance to improve Cup claim

PADRAIG HARRINGTON knows all about the pressure of trying to make the Ryder Cup. And he could be about to experience it again. The 27-year- old Irishman lies joint second at the half-way stage of the Italian Open here.

While the first-day leader Mats Lanner crashed from a 62 to a 77 and from three clear to seven behind, Harrington added a 66 to his opening 68. On the 10-under-par mark of 134, the Dubliner lies alongside Cambridge's Russell Claydon and two behind his playing partner on the first two days, the little-known Spaniard Francisco Cea. If he wins on Sunday he could jump from 27th to seventh in the cup standings.

Harrington just lost out to Jose Maria Olazabal in the battle for the final automatic place in Europe's 1997 side, but at the half-way stage in this year's race he had to be told of his position. "Two years ago I would have known exactly where I was," he said. "Now I have no interest at all. The simple fact is that I know I have to win before I have to think about it. You're not going to get the required points by finishing 20th in each event. You have to win first. I haven't looked at the table once."

Chasing a title worth almost pounds 120,000 Harrington turned in 34 and then had four successive birdies from the 13th. "I've never had three successive days when I've hit my irons so consistently well (he also shot 66 in the pro-am playing with the Italian Formula One motor driver Riccardo Patrese), but I was getting frustrated because for the first 12 holes I couldn't hole a putt. Then it just changed around."

Cea had already moved clear by then, however. Round in 67 in the first round, the 25-year-old from Malaga had a hat-trick of birdies from the second and another from the 11th. The 25-year-old from Malaga beat Europe's newest professional Sergio Garcia in the final of the 1995 Spanish amateur championship - Garcia was 15 at the time - but this is the first time he has led on the circuit.

Lanner still led after playing his first seven holes in one under, but then had six bogeys and the Swede admitted: "My confidence all went and towards the end I was just trying to hang on."

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Environment
A Brazilian wandering spider
natureIt's worth knowing for next time one appears in your bananas
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech

Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst (UML, Digital, E-Commerce)

£50000 - £55000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Busines...

Programmatic Business Development Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: As the Programmatic Business Dev...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ma...

Geography Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + TBA: Randstad Education Reading: Geography Teacher neede...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past