Padraig Harrington is under doctor’s order to be more trusting on the greens this week.
The two-time Open champion has struggled to hole putts recently because he’s trying get the perfect line all the time. But mental guru Dr Bob Rotella has worked hard to convince Harrington to have more instinctive trust in his reads and the Dubliner is hoping it pays off with a third Claret Jug.
Gunning for his fourth major, Harrington said: “Overall my putting has been pretty good this week and I’ve done some good work with Bob. I just have to trust my instincts and stop second guessing it. It’s all about trust.”
Rotella explained that Harrington has been putting himself under massive pressure to perform with the blade. And the author of Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect is preaching that gospel at chez Harrington, where he is staying this week.
Insisting that perfection is impossible, he said: “Padraig started to put a little pressure on his putter and question his reads recently. He got a little too precise trying to get too perfect and that leads to not being able to stroke it as well.
“You get in trouble by getting too precise but it is not as if he is scared of missing. He’s not fried. He knows he’s a good putter and he loves this kind of golf course and he loves the wind.”
Harrington thrives in tough conditions but he doesn’t want four days of carnage at Royal St George’s though the forecast for Sunday is horrific.
Unconcerned about what the weathermen have to say, Harrington said: “I don’t really look at the weather because I can’t do anything about it.
“A couple of windy days would be fine because I like to hear the other guys moaning about tough conditions. But four days of bad weather would even beat me down.
“The great thing is I have no choice in the weather. Even if it’s tough when you get the wrong side of the draw, you don’t have the ability to control that either.
“The good thing is that I do like the course. There is nothing about it that I think is unplayable and there is no hole out there where I wonder what I am going to do there or where I’m struggling and I can’t play it.”
He hasn’t had a top-10 in a major since the US PGA two years ago but feels good about his chances this week after a smooth three day preparation period.
“There is no good panicking until tomorrow,” he said as he headed to the putting green for some late afternoon putting practice. “My preparation has been good but you are never quite sure how it will go until you get out there.”