Harrington's power leak
Pádraig Harrington tees off at the second in the second round in Abu Dhabi. Picture: Eoin Clarke  www.golffile.ie

Pádraig Harrington tees off at the second in the second round in Abu Dhabi. Picture: Eoin Clarke www.golffile.ie

Pádraig Harrington might have been seething about the lip-out that led to his first missed cut of the year in Abu Dubai. But it was a power leak that gave him most cause for concern in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

While he holed nothing of consequence on the greens all week, he reported that he generally holed out well from inside six feet in his second start of the 2014 season More concerning for him, at least in the short term, was his lack of speed and distance.

As Rory McIlroy (and his relatively new driver-ball combo) powered to the top the drive distance statistics with an average of 308.1 yards, Harrington was back at 288.1 yards with as a result of being forced to hit more fairway woods or because of a lack of his usual ball and clubhead speed.

Reflecting on the problem in his weekly review, Harrington wrote on his blog: "The other thing about my [first] round that was very annoying was that my good shots were not going as far as they should.  All my shots, from drives to irons were short.  I found this the week before also but just thought that it was early season timing issues. 

"After the round I spent a lot of time working with Pete to get to the bottom of where my speed had gone.  I ended up hitting a lot of balls trying different things, from my happy Gilmore to regular swings.  

"We established that I need to get more through the ball, it definitely helped when I got it right.  I was a lot happier to have got to the bottom of the problem as now I can work on it and correct it." 

 He hit so many balls trying to get it right that he admitted that fatigue may have been a factor in his Friday performance

"While you never like to miss cuts in the end it wasn't a bad thing as I got to spend two days with Pete and Dave working on my speed and swing," he wrong. "We got a lot of work done which I wouldn't have got done had I played the weekend.  Not that I would have chosen to miss the cut but the work I got done was a good second.  

"Looking back I'd say the work I did on Thursday evening didn't help me in terms of performing on Friday, I hit a lot of balls, so I would have been a little tired."

His next trip comes in less than a fortnight, when he heads to the US for a three-week stint, starting at the Waste Management Open in Phoenix.

Padraig Harrington's early season schedule

Jan 30 - Feb 2 Waste Management Phoenix Open, Scottsdale, AZ
Feb 6 - 9 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Pebble Beach Golf Links, CA
Feb 13 - 16 Northern Trust Open, Riviera CC, Los Angeles, CA
Feb 27 - Mar 2 The Honda Classic, PGA National (Champion) Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Mar 13 - 16 Valspar Championship, Innisbrook Resort - Copperhead, Palm Harbor, FL.

"Hopefully four if I can manage to get myself back into the top 50 in the world by the end of the AT&T," Harrington added. "I'll spend the week working on what I was doing with Pete and hopefully it will be ingrained by the time I get to Phoenix."