Harrington plays down cancer scare

Padraig Harrington insists that his brush with skin cancer has been blown out of proportion.

The Dubliner had a sun spot removed from his forehead more than three weeks ago.

But he insists that the mark was merely "a small blemish" and he has nothing to worry about.

He said: "Basically, it was just a small blemish on my forehead that was getting bigger and weeped if I brushed across it. So it was time to have it removed.

"Even some of my brothers didn't know I was in for an operation.

"I put on factor 30 sun cream every day I go out on the golf course as part of my routine.

"The Australians on tour put in on even on a wet day and regularly talk in the locker room about having moles removed."

Harrington described his sun spot as a "non-melonama skin cancer".

He added: "I had about a square inch of skin taken out with some roots and all that sort of stuff. It was only a sun spot. I'm told it's like the third form of skin cancer. It was not melanoma or anything like that.

"You can see there's about a two-inch scar up there that's healing nicely, and I had to take about a week off totally from golf and then I spent two weeks just doing some practice.

"I was just continuing to grow. I'd keep catching it with my hat, and if I rubbed it off with a sweater it would bleed and seep a bit. It was just something that needed to be dealt with."

Harrington revealed that he has another sun spot on his eyebrow which will also need attention.

But he denied that it would have any effect on his golf.

He said: "It's no big deal. I've heard some people say that I will be playing under a cloud because of cancer but it has been totally sensationalised."