Padraig Harrington believes foreign dominance of the US Tour is making life a nightmare for young American stars.
But he’s determined to add to their pain this week by keeping his birdie show on the road in the $8.5m WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron.
Harrington warned: “The young US-born player doesn’t get the opportunity to learn how to win as much as an international player playing on his home tour before he comes out.
“It’s a tough thing to say but the strength of the US Tour doesn’t help grow young players. It’s not a breeding ground.”
Australian Stuart Appleby became the 16th overseas winner as well second man inside a month to shoot a 59 on the American circuit when he won the Greenbrier Classic on Sunday.
And while Harrington does not expect that kind of scoring at Firestone, he knows that competition is red hot these days as players go on the offensive from day one.
Harrington explained: “There is no hanging back. That doesn’t seem to cut it any more. You have to go all out and take your chances.
“It is not a patience game any more. It is about going out there and going hell for leather after it, trying to make as many birdies as you can.”
Harrington wants to build on second place finish in the 3 Irish Open by staying on the straight and narrow in Akron, where he was second to Tiger Woods last year.
Despite some short game magic in Killarney, he’d prefer to produce solid play from tee it green when he tees off with US Open champion Graeme McDowell.
Harrington said: “The spectacular stuff is nice when it happens but it doesn’t last forever. It’s good my short game is sharp coming here.
“But it’s a tough golf course for getting up-and-down all the time with the speed of the greens. Better policy is to hit fairways and greens.”
Rory McIlroy has been drawn with Masters champion Phil Mickelson, who can depose Woods as world No 1 this week.