Harrington searching for freedom: "I'm too intense"

Two-time Open champion Pádraig Harrington admits that he's struggling to become less intense on the golf course and emerge from the slump that has left him winless in Europe and the US since he won back-to-back majors six long years ago.

"I am right in that mode of things aren't happening for me and I'm trying too hard," Harrington said. "I'd love to tell you that it's easy not to try too hard, but I am just a little bit too intense.

"Good results make it easier to be a bit more blasé and when things aren't going so well...there's far too much grinding, there's not enough freedom and ease in the round for sure. That's where I am at, I need to get my head around it."

Down to third in the world when he won the 2008 US PGA to 234th this week, the 42-year old Dubliner admits that getting his attitude right is a struggle.

"I don't mean I have a bad attitude, but I need to be a bit less intense about it," he said before heading to the Open. "Obviously I always have been that way, but I am just over-trying a little bit.

"Getting to Hoylake, the temptation will be to try hard, I need to find the right attitude. It's very hard to be relaxed when things aren't going for you, but I am too defensive, just not letting it go."

Recalling the 2006 Open at Hoylake, where he missed the cut, Harrington said: "I just remember I was so scared putting the club on the ground, it was slipping. You lose your footing, there was only dust on the fairways.

"The fairways were quicker than the greens; it was in phenomenal condition but even for an experienced links playing like myself, I found it scary. I hadn't seen anything like that for a long long time.

"Was there a couple of weeks ago, it was very green. Whoever else was there recently said it was green (McIlroy called it "lush"). I thought it would change around but it will be a good test no matter what."