Padraig Harrington is keen to hook up with his new coach Pete Cowen again at this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship where he will seek a result that will halt his dramatic slide down the world rankings and the Race to Dubai standings.
The Dubliner, 40, slipped another three places to 84th in the world following his 36th place finish in the Austrian GolfOpen. He is also 88th in the Race to Dubai - down one place on last week - and in dire need of some decent finishes as he seeks his place inside the top 60 that will contest December’s season-ending Dubai World Championship finale.
What better place to build on his Austrian form than the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - an event he has won twice.
“I love the Dunhill,” Harrington said. “You couldn’t ask to play better tournament golf anywhere in the world and I just love the format. There’s really no negative to the tournament as far as I am concerned.
“The format will be great for me in terms of keeping a lot of the swing thoughts that I am having at the moment out of my head. I can relax, chat with the amateurs and keep my mind free.
“Also, even if I make a bogey at hole, my partner might just make a par or a birdie and all of a sudden I’ll be delighted. It really is a very positive week for me at the right time.”
As for his performance in Austria, where he finished on one-under par, Harrington said: “I saw a lot of stuff that I was happy with, especially my driver
“I hit the driver very well, very straight. In fact it was probably the straightest club in the bag this week. It was very worthwhile – a good trip.”
Asked if it was too assess the changes he has made to his swing, he said: “If I hit my driver like that every week I would ask for no more. The other parts of the game that I am not so keen on but I think some of it is more distraction than anything else – I am a bit mixed up at points on the course.
“I have only seen Pete (Cowen) once so I am looking forward to seeing him again and asking a few more questions. I will see him next week so that will be good for me and I can progress from there.”
Harrington had strapping on his wrist during Sunday’s final round.
“I have been hitting a lot of shots recently and I have a bit of tendonitis in my wrist, coming from my elbow. Not much too worry about but the physios treated me yesterday and said to put a little strapping on it.”
Putting a band aid on a disastrous season is his goal now but what Gary Murphy can do to improve his status is less than clear.
The Kilkenny man, who failed to come through Stage One of the Q-School recently, was just three shots off the lead at halfway in Austria.
Without a tour card and well down Category 16, a win would have solved his woes while a top 10 would have been a valuable consolation prize and earned him a place in the Alfred Dunhill Links this week.
Instead he shot rounds of 72 and 73 at the weekend to finish nine shots outside a play-off for the title between eventual champion Kenneth Ferrie and Simon Wakefield on three under, earning €10,400 for a share of 21st place.