Padraig Harrington’s obsession with improving his long game could see him come up short in his quest for more majors.
That’s the view of Phil Mickelson’s short game guru Dave Pelz, who reckons the Dubliner has neglected his chipping and putting for the past three years.
Pelz said: “I really admire the fact that Paddy won three majors and said he wanted to get better. But it was a big risk!
“He’s done what Tom Kite did when he won those money titles and the US Open but still didn’t get called the best player in the world.
“Greg Norman was the man so Tom decided he had to learn how to hit the ball better and further. It took him 10 years and he succeeded in the end, but he lost his short game.
“You can’t practice everything all day, every day and that’s what Paddy has scared me about.”
Without a big win for four years, Harrington admits that his short game and putting have suffered recently.
And that’s why Pelz is not surprised the Dubliner has failed to add to his major haul since he captured the 2008 US PGA.
The American said: “Back in 2007, 2008 and 2009, everywhere I went with Phil I would see Paddy working on his short game.
“He’d say, ‘Watch this David’ when we’d meet at Augusta and boy, he’d hit shots that were really good.
“But I haven’t seen him working on his short game for three years. Not a single time.I think what he needs to do now is stop working on his long game, maintain it and get his short game sharp.
“He is not putting as well as he used to. And he is not chipping as well as he used to, which makes his putting worse.”
Harrington believes he’s found a solution to his putting woes and Pelz - who endorses the Dave Pelz Scoring Game School at Killeen Castle in Co Meath - hopes it’s not too late.
He said: “At the US Open he was putting pretty well and I love his attitude.”
Harrington insisted this week that his game is very much on the up.
He said: “My putting was hampering me a bit, but it’s coming back. I didn’t feel my chipping was up to scratch either but we are getting on top of that. All elements of my game are going in the right direction at the moment.”