Padraig Harrington wants to ride a wave of confidence to victory when he tees up his Open preparations at this week’s Scottish Open.
The Dubliner is coming into form in the nick of time after following his eighth place finish at the Masters with a share of fourth in the US Open and tie for seventh in the Irish Open 10 days ago.
With a week to go before he bids to claim the Claret Jug for the third time in six years, Harrington said: “I’m keen to get out there and see whether having a bit of confidence in the game can actually bring it forward again.”
Harrington is relishing playing his second links event in a row and reckons it’s the perfect preparation for next week’s test at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
The Scottish Open was played on a parkland course at Loch Lomond for 15 years before moving to links track Castle Stuart last year.
And after using the Irish PGA at the European Club to set up Open wins in 2007 and 2008, Harrington believes he’s getting the perfect preparation.
He said: “When the Scottish Open was at Loch Lomond I said, ‘Look, I want to play links golf that week. If you move it to a links golf course, I’ll be there.’
“They have done that, and I couldn’t see myself not playing in the Scottish Open now because it’s on a links. It’s ideal.
“Having a competitive tournament the week before The Open shows up in the little nuances in your game that need to be tightened up.”
Without a European Tour win since the 2008 US PGA, Harrington is going for broke this week
He said: “I’m not thinking of The Open when I’m playing The Scottish Open. I’m thinking of The Scottish Open all the way through.
“It’s a big enough title that you want to win it in its own right.”
Seven Irishmen will tee it up in Inverness with Harrington joined by Shane Lowry, Peter Lawrie, Paul McGinley, Damien McGrane, Gareth Maybin and Simon Thornton.