Padraig Harrington will be going all out for Order of Merit glory after being squeezed out by just over €25,000 in 2002.

The Dubliner was second in the race in 2001 but only after winning the season-ending Volvo Masters at Montecastillo that year.

But it was even closer in 2002 after a play-off victory in the Dunhill Links Championship put him third in the Order of Merit behind Retief Goosen and Ernie Els.

There were still three events remaining that year and the Dubliner played in all three, matching Goosen in the Madrid Open and then finishing sixth in the Italian Open to go to Valderrama just €23,119 behind the South African.

The Valderrama shootout turned into a damp squib however as Goosen finished on 12 over to Harrington's 13 over to win the money title with €25,472 to spare.

This time, Harrington is €218,185 behind leader Paul Casey but could go into Valderrama as No 1 if he wins the Mallorca Classic next week (19-22 October).

A winner's cheque for ˙€291,660 in Mallorca would put him top of the money list with a lead of €73,475 over Casey.

With Casey and third placed David Howell opting to rest until the Volvo Masters, Harrington's nearest rival at Pula Golf Club will be fourth ranked Swede Robert Karlsson, who is nearly €475,000 behind him in the Order of Merit.

However, he will also have to watch out for Ryder Cup team mates Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal, who is the defending champion.

Paul McGinley has also entered the Mallorca event in last gasp bid to improve his Order of Merit position.

The Dubliner missed the cut in the Dunhill Links Championship by a shot and is now 66th in the Order of Merit.

Assured of a place in the Volvo Masters as defending champion, McGinley slumped to 57th in the latest world rankings and is a long way adrift of a career best 16th place, which he achieved a year ago.

Graeme McDowell has decided to skip Mallorca to play in the Indian Open and at 55th in the Order of Merit he looks assured of a top-60 finish and a place in the Volvo Masters.

At 53rd, Damien McGrane's second appearance at Valderrama looks assured while but 68th ranked Peter Lawrie needs at least a top-10 finish at Pula to finish in the top 60.

Kilkenny's Gary Murphy looks certain to retain his card providing he makes the cut while Stephen Browne and David Higgins look to be heading for the Tour School as they remained well down the reserve list for Mallorca last night.

Higgins is 128th in the money list with the top 115 keeping their cards and could need a top ten finish to retain his card.

Browne must finish first or second to move up to safety from 154th on the money list with 191st ranked Michael Hoey facing a similar task.

Harrington's Order of Merit finishes

2005 €671,616 32nd

2004 €1,910,394 3rd

2003 €1,555,623 3rd

2002 €2,334,655 2nd

2001 €2,090,166 2nd

2000 €1,350,921 7th

1999 €855,163 7th

1998 £208,014 29th

1997 £388,982 8th

1996 £285,024 11th


The Order of Merit race

1 Paul Casey (England) €2,409,242

2 Padraig Harrington (Ireland) €2,191,057 (€218,185 behind Casey)

3 David Howell (England) €2,166,366 (€242,876 behind Casey)

4 Robert Karlsson (Sweden) €1,964,043

5 Ernie Els (South Africa) €1,716,208

Remaining events

19 - 22 October, Mallorca Classic, Pula GC (Winner €291,660)

26-29 October, Volvo Masters, Club de Golf Valderrama (Winner €666,660)