Harrington faces marathon

By Brian Keogh

Padraig Harrington faces a gruelling end of season schedule as Open champion.

The Dubliner has already played 17 times this season and looks certain to play at least another dozen events before his wife gives birth in early December.

First up is next week's $8 million WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio followed immediately by the US PGA in Oklahoma.

After that he looks likely to tee it up in all four-play-off events for the FedEx Cup in the US where the top points scorer after the Tour Championship will pocket a cool $10 million (€7.25 million).

At this year's Smurfit European Open, Harrington said he wanted to play less, explaining: "A big problem of mine is I'm playing too much. That's scary

"I've got to find a way of playing less. I'm playing 30 events this year, might creep up to 32; that's too many.

"In order to give quality time to my training, especially my physical training outside, I need to play less."

Sunday's victory guarantees his place in the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth where the winner will take home £1 million sterling (€1.5 million).

Before that, Harrington will be in action the previous two weeks, first at the Seve Trophy in Co Laois and then at the Dunhill Links Championship where he will be defending both the individual and team titles.

Immediately after Wentworth comes the Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda, the four-man tournament for this season's major winners.

Even finishing last over 36 holes is worth €150,000, with €185,000 for third, €222,000 for second and €445,000 for the winner.

The problems is that the match play finishes on Sunday, October 14, and the Grand Slam begins with a pre-tournament pro-am on Monday, October 15.

November also promises to be hectic with the Volvo Masters followed immediately by the HSBC Champions event in China and the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan - where Harrington is certain to defend the title he won in a play-off with Tiger Woods last year.

That is immediately followed by the World Cup at Mission Hills in China, an event in which Harrington has represented Ireland every year since 1996, winning it with Paul McGinley at Kiawah Island in 1997.

This week, Harrington said: "There are a lot of complications but I'm not going to worry about them for a couple of days

"At the end of the week I'll start working on what I am going to do.

"But I want to do the Open Championship justice. Like being European number one, I want to feel I carry the flag well. It carries responsibilities."

Harrington's possible end of season schedule

Aug 2-5 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational $8 million
Aug 9-12 US PGA Championship €5.5 million
Aug 23-26 Barclays Classic $7 million
Aug 31-Sept 3 Deutsche Bank Championship $7 million
Sept 6-9 BMW Championship $7 million
Sept 13-16 The Tour Championship $7 million
Sept 27-30 Seve Trophy €2 million
Oct 4-7 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship $5 million
Oct 11-14 HSBC World Match Play Championship, Wentworth Club €3.5 million
Oct 16-17 PGA Grand Slam of Golf $1.35 million
Nov 1-4 Volvo Masters €4 million
Nov 15-18 Dunlop Phoenix, Japan €1.2 million
Nov 22-25 Omega Mission Hills World Cup, China $5 million