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April 7 2012

10:20 PM

Paddy shoots 68, eyes shot at fourth major

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Padraig Harrington enters Sunday's final round of the Masters with the opportunity to win his first PGA TOUR event since claiming the last of his three majors at the 2008 PGA Championship. The drought has been lengthy, in part because Harrington was working some swing changes to prevent his game from becoming stagnant.

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Harrington
The task will be difficult, as he'll start five strokes off the lead. But he won't treat Sunday as a must-win situation. In fact, he doesn't sense any pressure.

"I don't need to go out there and prove anything tomorrow," Harrington said after a third-round 68 put him in the hunt. "I'm in a great position in that sense. I've won three majors. I'm going to win more majors, so I don't have to do it tomorrow."

Many of the other players on the leaderboard will be seeking their first major win, including tournament leader Peter Hanson, as well as other notables such as Bubba Watson, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar, Lee Westwood and Hunter Mahan.

"There are players out there who have not won a major who feel like, I have to take this chance because they have not come around," Harrington said. "Having won three, I realize that they do actually come around and they will come around. And I don't need to panic tomorrow."

If Harrington can play like he did on the back nine Saturday -- when he poured in four consecutive birdies starting at the par-5 13th, then finished off his round with another birdie at the 18th to tie for his lowest score at Augusta National -- then he just might make enough noise to win that fourth major.  This is the fifth time in his Masters career that he’s entered the final round inside the top 10 on the leaderboard, but he’s never finished better than a tie for fifth.

"I like what I see in my game," Harrington said. "I think it's going forward big-time at the moment."

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