McDowell understands Harrington's frustration: "The game drives us absolutely bananas"

Graeme McDowell knows what it’s like to suffer on the golf course. Picture Fran Caffrey/www.golffile.ieGraeme McDowell understands Padraig Harrington’s frustrations, insisting: “You’ve got to be nuts to play this game well.”

Hearing that Harrington had parted with long-time coach Bob Torrance, the Ulsterman confessed that change is sometimes the only way to stay sane.

Tied 25th after a closing 70, McDowell said: “Something had to break really with Pádraig.  He’s been working too hard to not get any results.  

“I can’t think of anyone other than maybe Vijay who grinds like Pádraig does.  At some point you just need to hear something different.”

McDowell changed his entire backroom team including his coach and management company at the end of 2006.

And that’s why he understands why Harrington simply had to make a change and part ways with the veteran Scottish coach.

He said: “When things are going tough for a long period of time, golf course is a lonely place where you can do a lot of thinking.  

“You’re out there for five, five and a half hours; it is a lonely place, and everything goes through your mind.  

“You question everything.  You question your approach to the game physically, mentally, coaches, manager, caddies.  You question everything.

“Sometimes you need to change things when it’s not working and freshen it up and have someone else’s take on what you’re up to.

“I think you’ve got to accept that the game is a bit crazy.  There’s no rhyme or reason why you can feel great one day and hit it sideways and not feel so good the next day and hit it great.

“You can’t know what goes on in the mind of a crazed professional golfer, because that’s what we are.  

“The game drives us absolutely bananas, and that’s why we love it and that’s why we hate it.  And that’s why it keeps us out there grinding every day.  It’s a great sport.”