Padraig Harrington is not writing off Tiger Woods in the battle for the US PGA at Whistling Straits.
Woods recorded his worst performance in 14 years as a pro when he finished tied 78th out of 80 in the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone.
But as he prepared to chase major glory in this week’s US PGA, Harrington insisted: “It would be a very naive and a very foolish man to write Tiger Woods off.”
Harrington was keen to see who the bookies had installed as favourite for Whistling Straits.
But for the first time since he won the Masters in 1997, Woods is not the favourite for a major.
Harrington said: “You are asking a player and players know nothing. Bookies know everything and they get it right all the time.”
Despite his closing 78 in Akron, BetPack.com has installed Phil Mickelson as the 11/1 favourite to win his fifth major this week with Woods next best at 12/1.
Then comes the Irish charge with Rory McIlroy 18/1 and Harrington a 20/1 shot.
Mickelson’s failure to finish in the top four in Ohio meant that Woods extended his reign as world No 1 to 270 consecutive weeks for a total of 612 weeks in his career.
Asked who he considered the hottest man in golf, Harrington said: “Lee Westwood is the most consistent player in the world. Phil is playing the best golf in the world when he plays well and Tiger is the best player in the world. That sums it up.
“It would be nice for Phil to make it because he deserves to be No 1 at some stage.
“It didn’t happen this week but maybe he can finish second to my first next week in the US PGA!”