Padraig Harrington wasn’t part of my betting portfolio for any of his three Major wins, but has been quite often since. At no time have I collected. The best run he gave me for my money was a number of weeks back, when he went off a 70/1 chance to win the US Open.
He was in the vanguard throughout, and had he birdied the final hole would have forced a play-off with surprise winner, Webb Simpson. Throwing caution to the wind and a score across the counter, I went for the win only.
I’ll be doing the same again this week, hoping the big Dub brings his very best game to Royal Lytham where the British Open gets underway on Thursday and continues through to Sunday. There are signs that he will, the more positive coming at the Olympic Club in San Francisco back in June.
That was something like the real Padraig. It came after he’d finished eighth in the Masters at Augusta, and last weekend he was 12-under for the Scottish Open, five off the winner.
He’s changed coaches and his swing in the four years since he won the last of his Majors, the US PGA, and seems to be reaping the benefit.
One of his coaches, Dave Alred, has been with the Dublin and Armagh senior footballers, helping to hone the free-takers’ skills. Could he be the one who helped Stephen Cluxton graduate from just kicking out the ball to kicking it over the bar?
Cluxton will have the spotlight on him on Sunday; perhaps by then Harrington will be be on his way to another Major.