Harrington has eye on Dubai

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The Independent Online

The FedEx Cup jackpot eluded Padraig Harrington on Sunday, but as consolations go $1.5m (£950,000) is not too piffling. The Irishman certainly sees the value in the prize for whoever is crowned European No 1 in November. It is why, four days after being denied $10m in Atlanta, Harrington will tee it up in Fife.

Harrington is a regular at the Alfred Dunhill Links, the glorified pro-am event played at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, in which he always partners the famous gambler, JP McManus. But he does admit to another factor in his swift transatlantic switch.

"I've five events left to give myself a chance of reclaiming the Order of Merit," said Harrington, who ended up in seventh place behind Tiger Woods in the American end-of-season play-offs. "I probably need to win two and a few other things to go right. But that is the goal."

His recent resurgence suggests the triple major-winner is well capable of it. The 38-year-old is £1m behind the "Race to Dubai" leader Martin Kaymer, but could almost half that by lifting his third Dunhill Links title.

Kaymer is recovering from two broken toes while second-placed Paul Casey is also sidelined with a rib injury. But Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Ross Fisher could make Harrington's task harder by winning here and going top.

McIlroy may be following Harrington's lead next year. The 20-year-old yesterday confessed he is giving "serious thought" to joining the PGA Tour. However, there is no need for the European Tour to panic.

McIlroy's advisers point out it could see him playing only four more tournaments in the States than he has this year and he would continue to grace his home fairways. Evidently, they feel there is plenty of this prodigious talent to go around.

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