FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Padraig Harrington missed just two greens in regulation during his opening-round 64 that gave him the first-round lead at The Barclays.
He’s already missed three greens in Friday’s second round … in his first three holes. As a result, he’s dropping fast on the leaderboard.
Harrington, starting his second round off the 10th tee, posted three consecutive bogeys to start his day and is now at 4 under, four shots off the lead currently held by Bob Estes, who is 8 under for the tournament with one hole left to play Friday.
Harrington’s approach at the 10th hole found the rough near the greenside bunker, and he couldn’t convert the 16-foot par putt.
A wayward tee shot at the 11th found a fairway bunker, and his second shot found the greenside bunker.
Another poor tee shot at the 12th landed in the native area and his second shot came up short of the green.
Can Harrington turn it around? Follow the rest of his round here .
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- To even be considered as a captain's pick for this year's European Ryder Cup team, Padraig Harrington will need to win The Barclays.
European Captain Jose Maria Olazabal made it clear Thursday when asked whether Harrington's opening 7-under 64 was the "something extraordinary" the Irishman needed to produce in order to make the team.
It's not. Harrington will need to do more.
"At least a win," Olazabal told reporters at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles in Scotland.
Thus, his only hope is to impress Olazabal with his play at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. He couldn't have done much more on Thursday, especially on the back nine that he played in 6-under 29, including a stretch of four consecutive birdies.
“I saw him atop the leaderboard, giving Jose something to think about at least,” said Rory McIlroy, who has a guaranteed spot on the team. “Depending on how he continues to play this week, it could be a bit of a headache for Jose on Sunday night.”
Harrington didn't deny that his Ryder Cup chances are an additional motivation this week, along with moving up in the FedExCup rankings. He entered this week ranked 62nd but could move to No. 1 with a win.
"There's a lot going on," Harrington said. "This is the FedExCup and that's serious motivation. I would be a liar to tell you that I'm not thinking about the Ryder Cup."
Most of the post-round questions to Harrington involved his Ryder Cup chances. He said that he knows Olazabal will make his captain's picks in the best interests of a European victory.
"From the character that he is, I believe he would put winning way above anything that's personal," Harrington said.
Asked if he could imagine a situation where he won The Barclays and wasn't selected for the Ryder Cup team, Harrington said he considers himself a longshot to make the team.
"It's a tough situation I'm in," he said. "... At the end of the day, we'll see how we get on this week. I'm going to keep playing well and see what happens. I'd dearly love to play in the Ryder Cup."
Asked if Harrington should be on the European team, McIlroy replied: “Yeah, if he’s playing well and he’s in good form going into it, then of course we need the best players on the team.”
Olazabal will make his two captain's picks on Sunday once the automatic selections are finalized. The Ryder Cup between the European and U.S. teams will be Sept. 28-30 at Medinah.
Padraig Harrington rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th during Thursday's first round of The Barclays.
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Given that the Bethpage State Park Black Course has hosted two U.S. Opens, Padraig Harrington started Thursday's first round of The Barclays taking a U.S. Open approach of just being content with par.
Then playing partner Troy Matteson made an eagle on the fourth hole.
So the Irishman, who entered this week ranked 62nd in FedExCup points, stepped on the gas -- and didn't stop until he finished with a 7-under 64 that included a sizzling 29 on the back nine.
Not only did the 64 put him atop the early leaderboard, it was also his best round of the year since he shot 61 in the first round of the Transitions Championship in mid-March.
All because he changed his approach early on: Don't settle for pars.
"You have to get out of that mindset because level par isn't winning the tournament this week," Harrington said. "It isn't a U.S. Open. It isn't going to be like that.
"It's a big, strong golf course, but it's set up nicely. You have to get into the mindset that you've got to make some birdies."
To do that, Harrington needed his putter, a problem club this year, to heat up. It did, as he made five putts from outside 10 feet, including a 25-foot birdie putt at the par-5 fourth and a 21-1/2-footer at the par-3 14th.
"I've been playing well for quite a while," said Harrington, who won The Barclays at Westchester in 2005 and tied for second at Liberty National in 2009. "But this is the best I've putted."
If he can keep it up, he might just do enough to earn a captain's pick from European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal. No Ryder Cup points are given to European players at this event, which means Harrington will not receive an automatic selection.
"I don't want to go in there and try too desperately to beg for a pick, or I don't want to go in there and give excuses for anything," Harrington said. "I'll just leave it be what it is. I'm just going to play golf."
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. -- We won’t know for another month who will be the captains’ picks for this year’s U.S. and European Ryder Cup teams, but Davis Love III and Jose Maria Olazabal offered at least some insight on Wednesday.
“We'll be plugging holes, matching pairings,” Love said. “Obviously if Steve Stricker was on the outside, we have a guy that likes to play with him that's a lock.”
Tiger Woods is that lock as he’s the only player on either side to have mathematically secured a spot.
As Love indicated, Woods has had success alongside Stricker. The two compiled a 6-2 record when paired together in the last three international team competitions (2-1 in the 2010 Ryder Cup, 0-1 and 4-0 in each of the last two Presidents Cups).
Stricker is currently 10th in the standings. Only the top eight players after this week’s PGA Championship will automatically make the U.S. team, however. Love will then make four captain’s picks Sept. 4.
Others on the outside looking in include Hunter Mahan, who has won twice this season, at No. 9, and Jim Furyk, who had leads late into the U.S. Open and last week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, at No. 11. Furyk also finished second in Tampa, losing a playoff Luke Donald.
Rickie Fowler, who won earlier this year at Quail Hollow, is No. 12, while Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson and Bo Van Pelt round out the top 15.
But as we saw with Keegan Bradley, a player can make a big leap in the standings with a win -- particularly this week with double points being awarded (players receive two points for every $1,000 in prize money earned). That means everyone down to Matt Every at No. 37 has a chance to earn an automatic spot with a victory at the PGA Championship.
“It just shows you that we are strong and all of the guys at the top are taking turns playing well,” Love said. “There's a lot of golf to be watched. Fifty-one days (until the Ryder Cup), there's three tournaments after this week. I would think somebody can get really hot that we are not even looking at.”
One player Love will be looking at is an ice cold Phil Mickelson, who is on the bubble of earning one of those automatic spots at No. 8 in the standings.
Mickelson, who won at Pebble Beach earlier this year, has just one finish inside the top 25 on the PGA TOUR since April. At one point during that span, he failed to break par in nine consecutive rounds -- the longest such streak of his career. He’s also missed the cut in two of his last three starts, including at the British Open, and admitted to being “lethargic” the last two months.
If Mickelson were to struggle again this week, he could drop in the standings and that might force Love to use one of his picks on the veteran of eight Ryder Cups and nine Presidents Cups.
“I think he and Steve and a lot of guys are trying really hard to make the team, and that might be hurting them a little bit,” Love said. “We have all been there; the last few weeks, you press a little bit, you try a little too hard.”
Olazabal is facing a similar dilemma with Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington, who have played in five and six Ryder Cups, respectively. They are 12th and 29th in the current standings, though Europe’s top 10 players won’t become final until the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles later this month.
Europe’s team will be comprised of the top five players from the Ryder Cup European points list and the top five not otherwise qualified from the world points list. Olazabal will add two captain’s picks the day after Europe’s top 10 spots become final.
“He's a great team player,” Olazabal said of Garcia. “His spirit is always really good, and in that regard I think he's a great asset to the team. It's true that at the moment his game is a little bit off. Pairing-wise, he's proved the last few Ryder Cups he can play with anybody, and he's done well. I think that's very important. If you are looking at the players to be on your team, Sergio would certainly be one of them for sure.”
Harrington’s chances seem far more tenuous.
“He has to do really extraordinary well,” Olazabal said. “He's well down the list. He's a very methodical player. From tee-to-green, his game has been fairly good, but I think his putting has let him down this year so far. If he really does extraordinarily well, he can have a great chance of making the team still, but it's going to be up to him.”
Whoever Olazabal and Love pick, both men will lean on their assistant captains, among others, when it comes to making their selections.
Love added that he doesn’t yet have a hard list of player’s he’s considering when it comes to his picks. But he does have an idea of what characteristics he’s looking for.
“You want some hot putters,” Love said. “You might want another long'-ball hitter.
“This week is important, because it ends the points. But it's just as important as any of the guys who play at Greensboro or who plays well at Barclays. I would like to catch somebody that's hot this week and the next two tournaments they play.”
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
This week marks a couple of firsts for Padraig Harrington.
It’s the first time he’s playing in the Reno-Tahoe Open, and it’s the first time he’ll be playing using the Modified Stableford scoring system .
At 62nd in the Official World Golf Ranking, it’s also the first time Harrington has failed to qualify for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational (also this week).
Harrington hasn’t won on the PGA TOUR since 2008. During that time he hasn’t contended much, either -- though this season he does have as many top 10s as he had all of last year with three.
But that’s not the only reason he is in Nevada. Harington prefers to play the week before a major championship.
“If I was to practice at home I would get all mixed up,” Harrington said Wednesday. “I just wouldn't be competitive for next week if I didn't play this week.”
The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, S.C., will play host to the year’s final major, the PGA Championship, next week.
”I want to be competitive,” Harrington said. “When you hit a lot of shots you're breaking down some of your competitive instinct; whereas on the golf course you've got one chance, card in your hand, and you've got to get your mind in the right place.”
Wrapping his head around the Modified Stableford scoring system might be tougher.
Harrington has never played using the format that awards points for birdies and eagles -- and subtracts points for bogeys and double bogeys.
“It's a little bit like changing from stroke play to match play,” Harrington said. “You've got to be that bit more aggressive. The difference between going from, say, a par to a birdie is two points effectively, and the difference between going from par to a bogey is effectively one point. So it's nearly like a shot and a half a shot. Missing birdie putts is a lot worse than missing par putts this week.
“It's an interesting way. Normally they all count the same at the end of the week.”
To get himself in that mindset, Harrington played a couple of nine-hole practice rounds and kept score using the Modified Stableford system.
No matter the system, though, it’s most important to just play, Harrington feels.
“I know it's a little awkward coming three hours time difference from where we're going to play the PGA next week, but saying that I would rather be competitive,” he said. “Reno gives me that opportunity. The key for me is getting my head in the right place, getting my routines right, getting my processes right.”
RENO, Nevada – Padraig Harrington threw out the ceremonial first pitch, while Lee Janzen, Chris DiMarco and Billy Horschel took batting practice prior to Monday’s night Pacific Coast League game between the host Reno Aces and the Sacramento River Cats.
With the PGA TOUR in town for the Reno-Tahoe Open, the Aces – the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks -- brought in Harrington and Janzen, who have combined for five major wins, along with DiMarco, who has multiple appearances for the U.S. on Presidents and Ryder Cup teams, along with one of the TOUR’s rising stars in Horschel.
Check out these photos from Monday ( photos courtesy of the Reno Aces):
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
Padraig Harrington makes his first appearance this week at the Reno-Tahoe Open. It’s a rare opportunity for golf fans at Montreux Golf and Country Club to follow a three-time major winner.
As it turns out, Harrington is the third such champion to appear in Reno since the inception of the tournament in 1999.
Hopefully, his fate will be better this week than the previous two.
In 2001, Nick Faldo was in the field, five years removed from the last of his six major titles. He withdrew after shooting a 3-over 75 in the first round.
In 2006, Nick Price was in the field, 12 years removed from the last of his three major titles. He withdrew after shooting 71-71-73 in the first three rounds that left him at 1 under.
Several two-time major winners, such as John Daly, Lee Janzen, Mark O’Meara, Fuzzy Zoeller and Jose Maria Olazabal, have made multiple appearances in Reno. But Harrington, who likes playing the week before a major but did not qualify for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, joins a select group.
MULTIPLE MAJOR WINNERS AT RENO-TAHOE OPEN
|Player||Major wins||Reno starts||Years (including this year)|
|John Daly||2||6||1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2011, 2012|
|Lee Janzen||2||6||2000, 2001, 2002, 2008, 2011, 2012|
|Mark O’Meara||2||3||2001, 2002, 2005|
|Jose Maria Olazabal||2||2||2004, 2011|
|Fuzzy Zoeller||2||2||1999, 2000|
The pairings have been unveiled for this week’s PGA TOUR Matchups Game on Facebook. You can check out the Matchups for the British Open below, or on the PGA TOUR’s Facebook page.
Participants have until 6 a.m. ET Thursday to make their picks. Log on to the PGA TOUR Facebook page and click the Matchups link to make your picks for this week, or to sign up.
Matchups for the British Open:
|Tiger Woods vs. Bubba Watson||Will these two big hitters bag their drivers for the entire week?|
|Padraig Harrington vs. Rory McIlroy||Two Irishmen -- and two different ways of navigating the links|
|Sergio Garcia vs. Dustin Johnson||Both have come oh-so-close to winning this event|
|Luke Donald vs. Lee Westwood||Will one of these greats finally snag that elusive major?|
|Darren Clarke vs. Louis Oosthuizen||The last two British Open champs clash at Royal Lytham|
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- Padraig Harrington looked at his second shot on the 18th fairway and figured he needed a birdie to have any shot of winning the U.S. Open. So he took dead-aim at a tough pin ... and found the bunker on the left side, essentially ending his hopes of winning his fourth major.
"I was trying hard not to hit it right, and I succeeded very well, actually," Harrington said, laughing slightly at his gallows humor.
But he failed to birdie the par-5 16th and his bogey on the final hole left him at 3 over for the tournament.
In looking back at his week, Harrington was in an uphill climb the last three rounds after shooting a 4-over 74 on Thursday that included two four-putts and a three-putt. He knows where this tournament was lost for him.
"There's four shots easily the first day," he said. "I had a bad day on the greens the first day, not a great day on day three.
"I look back, it wasn't my ability to play golf this week that was costing me; it's a couple of decisions here and there. So it's nice to think you have the ability to win it. But maybe you just have to make the right decisions at the right time."
SAN FRANCISCO – Jim Furyk just came up with a miracle par at the 12th hole to retain sole possession of the lead at the U.S. Open.
Furyk hit his tee shot on the par 4 in the left rough and then short-sided himself in the short right greenside bunker. He blasted out to 30 feet but drained the putt for the improbable par that left him at even par.
Furyk is one stroke ahead of his playing partner, Graeme McDowell, who followed suit and made a 25-footer for birdie on the 12th hole, and Webb Simpson. As Furyk was gutting out that par, Simpson actually had a 6-footer for birdie at No. 15 but couldn’t convert.
Padraig Harrington had a chance to post 2 over and join Michael Thompson waiting in the clubhouse. But the three-time major champion buried his second shot in the left greenside bunker and blasted out to the rough on the other side of the green. He nearly holed his chip but it stopped 6 inches short and he finished at 3 over.
Tiger Woods, bidding for his fourth U.S. Open title, has finished off a 73 and ended up 7 over for the tournament. He held a share of the lead at 1 under after 36 holes.