Volvo Masters

Harrington has one of those days

The magic touch that has defined Padraig Harrington’s double Major winning season deserted him so utterly at windy Valderrama yesterday that the Dubliner will now require a feat of escapology worthy of Houdini if he is to lift the Harry Vardon Trophy for the second time.

Harrington seeks place in history books

Money might be the barometer of success in the modern game but Padraig Harrington will be focussing on the history books rather than the size of his bank balance when he tees it up in the 21st and final edition of the Volvo Masters at Valderrama tomorrow.

McGinley motoring again

Revved up Paul McGinley got his motoring running with a super 69 at vicious Valderrama - then set his sights on Ryder Cup points.

Just a day after declaring that he felt like a Formula One car with the wrong set up, the Dubliner grabbed the clubhouse lead in the Volvo Masters and finished the day just a shot behind leader Graeme McDowell.

And he did it in style, coming back from one over par with four to play with a birdie at the 15th and an amazing, eagle two at the 386-yard 16th.

Mac can be dream wrecker

Paul McGinley could wreck Padraig Harrington's bid to retain the Order of Merit.

Trailing Ernie Els by €217,295, Harrington could have enough to become No 1 again if he shares third place with just one other player.

A three way tie for third would be worth just €206,533 - not be enough to catch Els - and McGinley does not event want to think about the prospect of being the man who costs Harrington his crown.

Harrington to save tour blushes

Red-faced European Tour officials will be praying that Padraig Harrington can win the Order of Merit this week.

There will be blushes all round if Ernie Els hangs on to the No 1 spot as he is not in Valderrama but playing for a fat appearance fee in the clashing $4 million Singapore Open.

Rafferty laughing at Valderrama

Former European No 1 Ronan Rafferty will be smiling all the way to the bank this week - even if he finishes last at Valderrama.

The beefy Warrenpoint man, 43, will tee it up on tour for the first time in four years thanks to a one-off exemption for former winners in the 20th anniversary staging of the Volvo Masters.

Lawrie fed up with nearly man tag

Peter Lawrie is fed up being a nearly man on the European Tour.

The Dubliner, 33, was gutted to miss out on a Volvo Masters spot after poor finish to the Mallorca Classic.

And while his fifth place cheque for €77,400 took his career earnings to €1.92 million, he's wondering when his turn to win will come around.

Harrington wins Hassan Trophy

Padraig Harrington will head to Valderrama on a high after holding off Darren Clarke to win the Hassan II Trophy.

The Open champion hit a one over par 74 to finish three clear of Clarke on 12 under par and earn $150,000.

Now Harrington heads to the season-ending Volvo Masters needing to finish third and beat Justin Rose to retain his Order of Merit crown.