Harrington eager for Woods' return

By Andy Dean

Padraig Harrington admits he is relishing Tiger Woods’ Masters return because it means there will be less media attention on him.

The world number three heads to Augusta in April with the chance of joining an elite band of players to win three majors in a row.

Recovering from knee surgery, Woods is expected to return before the Masters and Harrington says he will be more than happy to see the American back in action.

He said: “I am looking forward to Tiger coming back, it will take some of the spotlight off me.

“Augusta week I'll have lots of people coming up to me saying ‘you're going to win’, a lot of players won't be asked that question until they're leading on a Saturday night.

“I'll go out Thursday morning feeling like the attention is on me as if I was leading the event."

While the Dubliner might say he welcomes the return of the world’s best player, he is certainly wary of the threat Woods will pose.

Harrington said: “I believe that, like any player who is forced to take a break from the game, Tiger will come back with a greater enthusiasm and love for the game because he will have missed it.

"It's hard to believe that I'm saying he might even want to win a tournament more than he did before."