Harrington halfway to Irish Open heaven

By Brian Keogh

Daddy cool Padraig Harrington grabbed a one-stroke lead in Irish Open at windy Adare Manor.

Then he confessed that he is trying to block massive home support as he bids to become the first home winner of the title for 25 years.

After revealing that his wife Caroline is due to give birth to the couple's second child in December, the Dubliner warned that there is still a long way to go.

One clear on three-under par after a 68, he said: "It doesn’t bother me whether I am leading by a shot or a shot or two behind with 36 holes to go.

"If you are leading by three or four shots, you are thinking you might win the tournament by Saturday. But not where I’m lying at the moment."

A crowd of 11,372 turned up in gale force winds but Harrington is trying not to get carried away by their support.

He said: "There were great crowds there nearly all day and it really was nice to play well in front of people like that.

"You’ve got to take the highs from the gallery and obviously deal with the other stuff. I have got to control my emotions so I feel comfortable."