From Brian Keogh in Detroit
Souped up Padraig Harrington reckons he has the winning formula to scorch to US PGA glory in Motor City.
With two wins and three top ten in his last nine major starts, the Dubliner feels confident he now has the power under the bonnet to cruise to further Grand Slam glory.
Totally unfazed by his poor record US PGA record, Harrington said: “I am just a better player now. I know what I am have to do to get myself ready and whether I get it right or wrong is a different thing.
“The results can be hit and miss but I know how to go about getting my game out this week. That’s what gives me encouragement.
“I believe I understand my game. I have worked on my swing long and hard and for the guts of two and a half years and I have been going into majors seriously playing those tournaments for the sake of those events rather than trying to get better for the future.
“Over that period of time I have got myself in contention in majors over half the time and that is the main thing.
“I have changed from a player who thinks he has to get everything right to a player who knows that he doesn’t have to do everything perfectly to win.
“I used to think I had to play my very best and put myself under too much pressure and now I realise that whatever game I turn up with is the best game I have that week.
“I am not too stressed about changing things on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. My game is good enough to win. I obviously know that now.
Harrington has played nine US PGA’s but missed the cut three times and never finished better than tied 17th.
And while he’d prefer if it came later in the season rather than just two weeks after the Open, he believes this year’s test is more like a US Open than a US PGA more deep rough than the players faced at Torrey Pines in June.
Harrington said: “The last couple years it's gotten more like a traditional US Open-type test. It's nearly more US Open-type than the US Open is at the moment, if that makes any sense. It's actually like they switched the two of them around this year.”
With no European winner of the US PGA since 1930, history says that the odds are against Harrington becoming just the fourth player to win the Open and the PGA in the same season.
But Harrington does not feel the pressure of history weighing heavily on his shoulders.
He said: “That wouldn't weigh on me at all. It doesn't make any difference to me going into this event the fact that I would be the fourth guy to do it in history.
“It would make a difference afterwards if I did do it, but not going into it. This is all about playing this event and trying to do your best and play your golf this week and see if you can come out on top of the field.
"I'm the only guy capable of doing it this week. That's, because I'm the only guy to win The Open. So, it's a possibility. Will I be ready? I think I will be ready.
"But unfortunately you can't be a hundred percent sure until you actually tee it up and play. But I do feel like that last week I was a little bit off my game a little bit tired, but I think coming into this week the game is fine, it's just a question of making sure that I'm ready mentally by Thursday, and yeah, I believe I can do that.
"I'm reasonably confident that I can get my game in shape come Thursday and it is a tough golf course, which suits me. So I'm pretty comfortable with the test ahead."