Harrington convinced he can win Masters

By Brian Keogh

Padraig Harrington reflected on his Masters disappointment and predicted: My day will come.

The Dubliner's share of seventh place, four shots behind winner Zach Johnson, looks like a massive disappointment.

But Harrington has analysed what cost him the Masters and he knows that there is very little from preventing him from contending for the green jacket multiple times.

He said: "I am disappointed that I had a chance to win and I didn't win. But I am delighted that it didn't end up a shot away. I am not walking away feeling negative.

"I am walking away feeling positive that I proved to myself that I am capable of playing the golf to win at Augusta. That is always an important step to take.

"I was very comfortable all week, hitting the shots you have to hit all week.

"But my pitching and my chipping let me down and that is definitely where I need to do some work."

Before last week, Harrington always thought that he needed to get better from tee to green to win at Augusta.

But he walked away from Magnolia Lane knowing that he now has all the shots necessary to become a major champion at the Masters.

He added: "I am walking away from this one saying, no, I have built a strong enough game now that I have got to go back to my strengths, which are pitching and chipping.

"It is one of those things, you focus on something for so long and it goes the other way. My chipping has been good, there is no question about that.

"But obviously everything was a little more magnified and a little tougher at Augusta and I would see that area of the game as where the opportunity was missed last week.

"It was with those pitching and chipping clubs rather than my general tee to green game that cost me. And if I want to win at Augusta that is where I have got to focus in the future."

Harrington has not had too many chances to win a Major going into the final round.

But he does not believe he learnt anything new in last week's Masters, where he led the putting statistics but played the par fives 11 shots worse than winner Johnson.

He said: "I definitely don't think I learnt anything more about the final rounds of majors at Augusta than anywhere else.

"I learnt the most at Winged Foot in the US Open last year where I was very comfortable throughout the tournament. And throughout the last round at Augusta I felt I was getting better all the time.

"I hit the shots when I needed to hit the shots and probably hit my best shot of the week on 15 with my hybrid. I never considered it was going to be short in the water

"Yes, it was the wind, but I wanted the wind into me anyway because I was trying to get it to stop. I was trying to get that close and in the air it could have been anywhere but as it turned out it finished in the water.

"It was such a good shot it could have been stone dead. But I don't think the tournament was ever lost until I went in the water on 15 on Sunday.

"I don't think I would have made birdie-eagle on 12 and 13 if you were two over par. I only made birdie at 12, which you wouldn't do if you were in contention, because I went at the pin. And I only made eagle on 13 because I went over the trees with my drive, which you wouldn't do if you were in contention.

"So there is no point at looking at anything that happened before 15, because everything would have been different coming down those holes at the end."

Harrington played the par five 15th in five over par with just one birdie completely erased by a bogey, a double bogey and a triple bogey.

But played the other three par fives in seven under, racking up an eagle, five birdies and six pars from 12 attempts.

Johnson, on the other hand, laid up on all 16 par fives, making 11 birdies and five pars.

But Harrington argued: "Zach is a shorter hitter than me so that was an issue for him. Plus, he is a very good pitcher of the ball, so he was playing to his strengths.

"He was 11 under and I probably played them over par (two under, in reality), so maybe you should lay up on them. Maybe they are not that clear cut.

"The tournament was not lost on the front nine in my opinion. I definitely could have been plenty of shots better coming down those last few holes at the end.

"I hit a lot of good shots all week and if I keep doing that, who knows. If I keep doing the right things, my day will come more than once if I keep getting in contention."

The US Open at Oakmont and the Open at Carnoustie are next on the agenda for Harrington, who is looking forward to getting into the mix again.

He said: "I am looking forward to the other majors now, but unfortunately weeks like this put a lot of expectations on me, which makes it all the harder.

"I would be very happy if I was playing the US Open this week. All I can say is that my day will come, and hopefully more than once."