Padraig Harrington insists that nothing but victory will satisfy him when he defends the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in July.

The Dubliner vowed to fight off the challengers for his title with every weapon at his disposal after a playing a practice round on a company day for his sponsors Wilson at the Southport links yesterday.

After flying down from the Wales Open for the the day, Harrington said: "I’m not here to put in the solid defence. That doesn’t mean anything to me. If somebody turns around and offers me fifth place in the Open, I’d say no.

“For the last couple of years, my sights have been very firmly set on turning up to win tournaments. Fifth place might be very good in retrospect, but winning is what I am about at the moment and that is why I’m here.”

The pressure will be on Harrington when he returns to Merseyside for the Open from July 17-20 and while he loves the course, he'd prefer a test that will frighten the life out of most of the field.

Comparing Royal Birkdale to Portmarnock in terms of fairness, he said: “There might be a lot of players coming here and liking it, which is not what I want. I’d be happier if everybody turns up and hates the place, that’s a good thing for me.

“I can understand why a lot of players would rate this very highly. It’s not a tricky course, there’s nothing funky about it. Everything is there in front of you.

“I prefer a difficult test because it limits the number of people who can compete on the golf course, though if there is more pressure on you, you’d prefer to be on a more straightforward golf course than one that throws up a lot."

Harrington will be focussing on earning serious Ryder Cup points in Wales this week after falling outside the 10 automatic qualifiers following his absence from last week's BMW PGA.

He said: “I probably only have the chance to make it from the World Points List and it’s pretty tight there. There’s seven or eight guys playing for those five positions in the world ranking and that’s not throwing in anybody else who maybe has a good run.

“I’ve got to make sure that I do my job and get in the points over the next few weeks. I think we’ve only got nine or ten events so it would make it a lot easier on myself if I could go on and win one of those events.”