Harrington keen to fulfill eastern promise

Padraig Harrington will be gritting his teeth in Hong Kong this week. Picture www.golffile.iePadraig Harrington will be kung-fu fighting for his short term future in Hong Kong this week.

The world No 81 knows he must finish in the top-6 if he’s to make the Top-60 money winners who qualify for next week’s Dubai World Championship finale - a battle that will put 60th ranked Peter Lawrie in his crosshairs.

It’s an interesting challenge but his biggest worry is getting back into the world’s top 50 as soon as possible so he can contest all the World Golf Championships next season and give himself the best possible chance of earning his seventh Ryder Cup cap.

Gunning for his first win for 13 months, Harrington said: “It’s quite important to be in the top 50 in the world, certainly for the two World Golf Championships in February and March.

“Yes I probably need a top six in Hong Kong to qualify for Dubai but I’m only thinking of winning because if you win, everything else takes of itself.”

Third in his defence of the Ikandar Johor Open two weeks ago, Harrington added: “Finishing third is fine but it’s not going to do anything for your world ranking. It’s winning that make the difference.”

Harrington has every reason to be optimistic about his chances in Hong Kong. He’s only played there twice but won the event in 2003 and finished second to Miguel Angel Jimenez the following year.

He said: “I do remember finishing second now that I think if it, but I had only remembered winning. I like the venue and the golf course will certainly suit me. It has suited me in the past.

“It’s going to be my last event of the year unless I win €50,000 plus to get to Dubai. I’m very keen to stay out there playing but my whole season hardly comes down to this.

“If I win in Hong Kong or win the Dubai World Championship then you could say that both weeks had a bearing on my season. But other than that, no, my season is what it is.”

Harrington could be forced to change his early 2012 schedule if he fails to make the top 64 in the world before the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona from February 22-25 or the top 50 before the WGC - Cadillac Championship (March 8-11)

“At this moment I would be very positive,” Harrington said. “I am playing well so hopefully I won’t need to change anything. We will have to wait and see.

“The fact that I am not in those events would give me reason to change but I will make decisions based in where the best world ranking points are available to be honest.”