Harrington happy he’s back on track

Padraig Harrington insists he is on the right path to becoming a better player despite his eighth hole meltdown at Hazeltine.

Padraig Harrington saw his USPGA Championship defence implode on the eighth hole at Hazeltine National but the three-time major winner insisted he was on the right path to becoming a better player.
The Irishman’s quintuple bogey at the par-three eighth removed him from contention when he was vying for the lead with Tiger Woods and YE Yang.
Harrington had duelled with Woods the previous Sunday at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational until playing a disastrous 16th hole in Akron, Ohio, and his calamity at Hazeltine’s eighth saw him close the final major of the year with a six-over-par 78 to tie for 10th place at level par, eight shots behind new champion Yang.
“Obviously it was disappointing for me,” Harrington said.
“I still made the shots out there. I only got out of position (on) one hole. And every day, the few putts I dropped, it could have been a nice number.
“I think it’s easy to see that seven or eight-under won, that was my mindset going out there, and I could feel like it could have been five or six shots better.
“But I think YE Yang is a good winner.”
Having struggled to get good results all year as he modified his swing in the wake of back-to-back major victories at last year’s Open and US PGA, Harrington could at least take heart from being able to vie with the world’s best once again for two weeks in a row.
“The positive is I was very comfortable out there and I know that my game is going to get better,” he said.
As for the nightmare he endured at Hazeltine’s eighth, Harrington was as philosophical as always having dunked his ball in the right-sided lake off the tee and again from greenside rough on the opposite side.
“It was a difficult tee shot and it was obviously a difficult second shot after you hit it in the water and pulled it left (into the rough).
“I had been changing my chipping action a little, and I probably was more into what I was doing rather than trying to get the ball up-and-down, and I hit a bad shot. So these things happen.
“It wasn’t anybody else. It’s all me. But as I said, I was comfortable that I hit all my shots all day and there was nothing wrong with what I did (for the rest of the round).”