Harrington awakes from his slumber - Can he deal with his high expectations?

Harrington awakes from his slumber - Can he deal with his high expectations?
 Happiness is a long walk with a putter. Pádraig Harrington drains another putt in Indonesia. Picture via  AsianTour.com

Happiness is a long walk with a putter. Pádraig Harrington drains another putt in Indonesia. Picture via AsianTour.com

Pádraig Harrington revealed that he felt like throwing his alarm clock out the window on his first day in Indonesia but while he sounded less than enthused about the prospect of a 3.15am Saturday morning alarm call, the good news is that he'll have a chance to take the lead into the third round of the $750,000 BANK BRI Indonesia Open.

The threat of lightning forced officials to suspend play just before three in the afternoon, just as Harrington rolled in a 25 footer for a two at the 12th to regain a share of the lead on 12 under par.

The three-time major winner, who is seeking his first win for more than four years, was five under par for his round with six holes remaining and didn't get back out on the course as play was eventually suspended until 6.30am on Saturday. Scores

A week like this, the last tournament of the year, I still have to the goals to get things right to give me a good winter so I get a good start next year. The key is to lower those expectations and not be as hard on myself.
— Pádraig Harrington on his goals this week

Whatever about his early wake up call, he'll be looking forward to windless conditions and perfect greens as he resumes tied at the top with the slightly built Thanyakon Khrongpha of Thailand, who posted a 63 to set the target at 12 under.

"It would have been nice to finish the round out and had some clarity about what we are doing tomorrow," said Harrington, who was one of 66 players who failed to finish. 

"Obviously we are back very early to finish out our six holes," he said with a knowing look, "and then there will obviously be quite a delay before we go out in the next round.

"We've seen it before and it's nothing new but still, it is always easier when you have a bit of clarity about what you are doing."

While he occasionally looks fidgety over the four footers, the 43-year old Dubliner has holed more than his share of putts in the 15-20 foot range over his first 30 holes, racking up an eagle, 13 birdies and three bogeys.

He certainly couldn't have hoped for a much better start to his second round as he eagled the first and birdied the second and third.

He bogeyed the fourth but birdied the seventh and eighth thanks to long range putts to turn in 30 and then followed another bogey at the 11th with a birdie two at the 12th to share the lead, two clear of Australian Nathan Holman (69-63).

"I had a nice start," Harrington said after spending the delay sleeping on a massage table in the locker room. "I hit a nice drive and a five iron to about 15 feet and holed it for eagle and then birdied the next two as well. 

"It really was a good start, four under after three. I wasn't quite as solid after that but I putted nicely, so five under through 12 holes is quite nice. So we'll have to see. If we can finish strongly tomorrow it will be excellent."

Harrington was clearly not looking forward to what will be a long day on Saturday and he showed his experience by getting some sleep.

"I always sleep during a rain delay," he told Asian Tour TV. "I lie down in the middle of any clubhouse in the middle of the floor there and fall asleep.

"I found a nice bed downstairs in the locker room — there is a massage table and I was fast asleep and I am still a little bit asleep."

As for the tournament, he added: "The course is playing nicely. Obviously there was a bit of wind this afternoon making it tricker but the speed of the greens is reasonably the same and as I play more rounds, I'm getting to know the course a little better."

Apart from his putting and chipping woes, Harrington admits he has struggled to deal with his own high expectations since he won his third major in 2008 and that will be his biggest challenge over the weekend at the Damai Indah Golf, PIK Course in Jakarta.

"The last number of years I have hit the golf ball better than I have ever hit it but I haven't performed," he told Asian Tour TV in the build up to the tournament. "A lot of that is down to having high expectations. 

"I got out there and play really well but it's a bit of the perfectionist in me, thinking I am not going to make any mistakes and getting frustrated when I do. 

"A week like this, the last tournament of the year, I still have to the goals to get things right to give me a good winter so I get a good start next year. The key is to lower those expectations and not be as hard on myself.

"You need to be excited to get into the zone and that means you have to be there in the heel of the hunt to get into contention. I haven't got into that position as often as I would have liked over the last number of years.

"Getting in the zone, a lot of things conspire to get you there. It really is doing a lot of good things, getting your routine right, being disciplined all through the week, getting pretty close to it and then hopefully then on Sunday afternoon, when the pressure is there and the excitement, it just tip the scales in your favour and you get into that place that is very special. 

"We all want to be there and it is very exciting but [getting in the zone] is not as easy as flicking a light switch. For those majors, it took me three weeks to get to that position. Sometimes you can get lucky and it happens but generally it takes a lot of preparation over a few weeks to get yourself into that mental state."