To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: Padraig Harrington, the inveterate tinker, will be looking to break a victory drought that stretches back to his double-major season in 2008. He's trending in the right direction with a scoring average that improved from 88th to 13th at 69.736 and two top 10s in majors last year.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Harrington fired a 61 in the first round of the Transitions Championship last year. It was the Irishman's lowest on the PGA TOUR by three strokes -- but he couldn't sustain the momentum and ended up tied for 20th. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: One of my great memories this year was watching Padraig Harrington shoot 61 in the opening round of Transitions. That was his only score in the 60s that week and eventually finished 20th. Harrington struggled with consistency but found some answers in winning the PGA Grand Slam Of Golf in October. Padraig is one of the harder workers on TOUR. You always see him working on the range. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Tough to get excited about 41-year-old internationals that haven't committed to more than 18 events per season in three years. However, he logged a career-high 11 top 20s in 2012, so we can't rule out a second wind. Posted top 10s in the Masters and U.S. Open, tournaments for which he remains eligible in 2013. The moral of the story is that he's solid if not above-average value across the board. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finish||T-4th||U.S. Open|
|By the Numbers Starts: 18 Cuts made: 16 Rounds played: 63 Top-10 finishes: 3 Money List rank: 53rd||TOUR ranking Driving distance: 57th Driving accuracy: 120th Greens in regulation: 161st Strokes gained-putting: 107th Scoring average: 13th|
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN What is your prediction for Padraig Harrington in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
To promote this week’s UBS Hong Kong Open, Y.E. Yang and several other players gathered at the top of Victoria Peak, a mountain on the western part of the island, to hit shots into the stratosphere.
The views were spectacular and Yang tweeted several photos. In one, he posed with two other well-known players -- one of whom is participating in "Movember," a charity where men grow moustaches to raise funds and awareness for men's health.
"Guess who these guys are," Yang tweeted. "You'll never know who the guy with the 'stache is.'
For the record, the Fu Manchu belongs to three-time major champion Padraig Harrington.
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – It was a week that started out promising. Then turned nightmarish. Then ended on a positive note.
Now it becomes a waiting game for Padraig Harrington.
European Ryder Cup Captain Jose Maria Olazabal will announce his two captain’s picks on Monday at 7 a.m. ET. Harrington, who has played in the last six Ryder Cups, did not automatically qualify for the European team, so he will have to rely on a pick in order to play in next month’s Ryder Cup at Medinah.
“It’s hard to talk about it at this moment,” Harrington said. “Obviously there will be a lot more clarity tomorrow.”
Harrington was the first-round leader after shooting a 7-under 64. Afterward, Olazabal, competing at this week’s European Tour event, said Harrington would need to win The Barclays to enhance his chances of being a pick.
But Harrington struggled in the middle two rounds, shooting a pair of 4-over 75s. Having shot 29 on the back nine of the Bethpage State Park Black Course on Thursday, Harrington shot 40 and 39 in the next two rounds.
On Sunday, he was a bogey-free 1 under on the back nine en route to his 68. Starting the week 62nd in FedExCup points, Harrington was projected to 49th.
“I’m very happy with where I am with my game,” Harrington said.
He also said he’s comfortable with his relationship with Olazabal, despite any past differences they may have.
“I have a better relationship than you think with him,” Harrington said. “Even if I had no relationship, he still wants to pick the 12 best guys.”
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – The nightmarish second round for Padraig Harrington has ended. And if he doesn’t crank it back up over the weekend, so has his Ryder Cup hopes.
Harrington, starting his round off the 10th tee, bogeyed his first three holes and added two more before making the turn. He shot 40 on Bethpage Black’s final nine holes after shooting 29 – with six birdies -- in the same stretch on Thursday.
Harrington settled down after the turn, putting together a string of pars before making his lone birdie of the day at the par-5 seventh. That leaves him at 3 under for the tournament, five shots off the lead.
The Irishman’s accuracy failed him Friday, as he missed six fairways and eight greens in regulation after missing just one fairway and two greens in the opening round.
European Ryder Cup Captain Jose Maria Olazabal said Thursday that Harrington would need to win The Barclays in order to have any hope of being a captain’s pick for next month’s Ryder Cup at Medinah.
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):