The Open 2015: Why Padraig Harrington is an important player today

Irishman one to watch in final round

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Padraig Harrington is one to watch in the final round at The Open as he bids to win the tournament for the third time, what would be his fourth major in total.

The 43-year-old won back to back Opens in 2007 and 2008, paving the way for fellow Irishmen (although Northern Irishmen) Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy to follow in his footsteps.

Harrington notched a superb seven under par score of 65 in the third round at St Andrews, leaving him 10 under par going into the fourth round, just two strokes off the lead.

Observers to his performance yesterday noted that his trademark strut had returned and that Harrington's performance had echoes of his three previous major wins, something not seen for some time.

The Dubliner is now in a serious position to challenge for the Claret Jug.

“It’s straightforward,” he said last night. “I have no issue with putting my neck on the line and failing. Doesn’t bother me. I’m trying to think back now, 2012 was my last chance really. I had a really good chance at the Olympic Club coming down the last at the US Open. That’s probably my last decent chance of winning.

“I’ve found myself in a nice place this week, and regardless of what happens, the attitude I’ve taken this week is the attitude I need to take going forward. Some of Harrington’s best golf in a bogey-free round of seven birdies came on the inward nine, not least at the par-four 13th, having put himself some 60 yards left out of position in rough the wrong wrong side of the adjoining sixth fairway. Leaving him a blind approach from 200 yards, he launched a spectacular four-iron to 12 feet from a flag at the front of the green to get up and down and remain in the hunt at nine under.

“It probably was my best shot of the day,” he said.

 

“I had exactly 200 yards, and I hit 4-iron, and it was as nice a shot, because it was a blind shot, and it was beautiful. I hit it exactly on the point I was aiming, exactly how I wanted to hit it. Yes, it was the nicest shot I hit of the day. Hit a lovely putt up there, as well.

“But as I said, you’re going to hit some good ones and some bad ones. That was certainly one to remember.”

 

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