By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Padraig Harrington was asked in his Tuesday news conference about Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and the rest of golf’s current stars. “So you want to talk about me?” Harrington responded with a smile.
The Irishman is a three-time major champion, but the majority of questions Tuesday weren’t about his past successes. They were about his current predicament.
Harrington is No. 129 in the FedExCup standings. He needs to crack the top 125 after this week’s Wyndham Championship to earn a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs. He estimates a top-25 finish should be enough for him to safely advance to next week’s The Barclays.
He’ll face an uphill climb if he does earn his way into the Playoffs. Eighteen players have played their way into the FedExCup Playoffs at the Wyndham Championship. Only two (Ernie Els, 2011; Martin Laird, 2008) have made it to the BMW Championship, and just six have advanced to the second Playoffs event, the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Harrington has been in this position before. He came to the Wyndham Championship in 2011 at No. 130 in the FedExCup. A tie for 47th moved him to 124th in the standings. He also tied for 13th in the first Playoffs event, The Barclays, to advance to the Deutsche Bank Championship.
“It's definitely a distraction,” he said of trying to qualify for the Playoffs. “There's a lot of thinking and talking and what's this, what you need to do, and you know, if anything, you kind of prepare for this week very much as an isolated week.”
The Barclays is being played at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J. Harrington finished second at the 2009 Barclays, the last time the tournament was held there. He has three top-10s in 16 starts this year, highlighted by a T-9 finish at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but has missed the cut in his past two starts, the Reno-Tahoe Open and PGA Championship.
He described this as a “strange year,” saying he was happy with his play in spite of his results.
“I haven't really scored very well,” Harrington said. “You know, I can't put everything together in a given week. So you kind of have to have patience and accept that this is going to happen every so often and try and be patient to wait for it to turn around, and hopefully, as I said, hopefully turns around this week and we move on from there.”