He might have had a tough day from tee to green but Padraig Harrington declared his 10th place finish in the FedEx St Jude Classic a success ahead of this week’s US Open “grind” at Merion.
The Dubliner would have liked to put more pressure on eventual winner Harris English and himself rather than carding a one-over 71 to finish seven shots adrift on five under par.
But he was still satisfied that he added a little more sharpness to his mental game on a tough course before the toughest test of all the majors.
“It was certainly tough,” he said. “That’s why I come to the tournament the week before the US Open. I want to test my game under a bit of stress, and certainly the stress of 18 holes today where the wind made it very tricky. The greens were fast. In that sense it was a very good preparation for me.
“I did what I needed to do this week for next week. I would like to have done better in items of getting myself in a position that I was stressing a little bit about where I was hitting the golf ball.
“It’s the sort of feels like you want when you’re going into [a major] you got to get used to those feelings, and whereas it didn’t go as well as I would have liked today, it was a tough day and a grind out there and it’s going to be a grind next week.”
Six shot off the pace starting the day, Harrington’s title chances foundered when he over shot the fourth and fifth and bogeyed the fourth and fifth to slip to four under par.
He birdied the short 11th from 26 feet, bogeyed the 12th off a poor drive sailed miles left but then holed a monster 43 footer across the 17th green for birdie to get back to one over for the day.
As overnight leader Shawn Stefani crashed to a 76 to finish tied seventh on six under, English birdied the 16th and 17th for a 69 and a two-shot win over Scott Stallings and Phil Mickelson on 12 under.