Harrington backs himself to perform under pressure

Joy Chakravarty 02:47 20/07/2015
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Going strong: Harrington.

ST ANDREWS — Now that Padraig Harrington is in contention after a sparkling round of seven-under par 65 on Sunday, the two-time Open champion fully backs himself to play good golf in the final round.

Harrington, winner of back-to-back Opens in 2007 and 2008, moved to within two shots of the leaders at 10-under par 206 after a bogey-free round in which he hit 16 out of 18 greens in regulation.

“I always wanted to shoot a 65 on the Sunday of an Open,” quipped the genial Irishman, who is also the ambassador of R&A, organisers of The Open and the world governing body for the game.

“Obviously there’s another round to go tomorrow, Today was very, very important. This is not a golf course that the leaders tend to come back on, so you really do have to be somewhat there or thereabouts going into the final round.

“It was a big day to shoot a good score, and to get yourself in contention. We’ll have something to play for tomorrow.”

-Related: Tiger Woods frustrated as he misses second consecutive cut
-Related: Amateur Dunne is leading the chase going into final round

-Related: Open Championship Player of the Day: Adam Scott

Harrington won the Honda Classic on the PGA Tour this year with his back against the wall, after having lost his membership earlier this year as he ran out of exemptions. He hasn’t had the best of runs since that win in February, but is confident that pressure, as it has usually done in the past, will bring out the best in him.

“I think the obvious way of saying it is that when I am under pressure, I never mind hitting a bad shot. When I’m under no pressure, it really kills me to hit a bad shot. It’s as simple as that,” said the three-time major champion.

“I have a very good attitude to my results of my shots when I’m under pressure, and I don’t mind losing. I have a very poor attitude when I can’t hit a simple, straightforward shot under no pressure. I have no issue with putting my neck on the line and failing. Doesn’t bother me whatsoever.”

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