With 20 players within five shots of the lead, Padraig Harrington knows he will have to get aggressive in the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.
Tied for fourth, just a stroke behind Steve Stricker, Sean O’Hair and Retief Goosen after his third 67 on the trot, the pressure is the Irish star to come up with the goods for his Boston Irish faithful.
Harrington is 14th in the Fed Ex Cup rankings but could move comfortably into the top five with two events remaining, if he can pull off his first tour win since last year’s US PGA.
“Well, there's going to be a lot of expectations,” Harrington said of his status as a home hero for the Boston Irish fans. “It's going to put a lot of pressure on me tomorrow. The key in this FedEx Cup is you've got to win one of the first three at least and then that puts you in position that if you win the last one you're going to be the big-time winner. I suppose I'm pushing hard. I won't say I'm desperate, but I'm certainly pushing hard to get that win.
“There are a lot of people in contention, and that is going to be an issue. You're going to question whether somebody is not going to need to shoot a low one from where they are. You could see somebody shooting 64 tomorrow.
“I don't know what the conditions are going to be like, obviously, but with seven or eight guys with a chance or maybe more of winning, you've got to expect somebody is going to play well and shoot the number. It's going to be a day tomorrow for being aggressive.”
With thousands of Irish Americans roaring him on, this is like a home game for Harrington.
“Everywhere I walk, onto every green, onto the tees, betweens greens and tees, great support,” Harrington said. “There’s a saying - there’s five million people in Ireland and 40 million Irishmen in the States. I think all 40 million live in Boston.
“It does give you a buzz. There’s no doubt that when it all gets behind you, it’s very positive. If they weren’t behind you, you’d have to knock it down the pole because it’s a different kind of focus.
“I’m getting great encouragement and it’s very positive. When you get people supporting you, you do feed off it and try to go with it and it’s certainly helped me over the last three days. When you’re getting that kind of support, you’ve got to run with it.”
As for Tiger Woods, the world No 1 is nine strokes off the pace on four under after a one over par 72 in the third round.
Not even Woods can come back from there.