Pod to throw caution to the wind
Padraig Harrington is set to throw caution to the wind in Sunday’s final round of the US PGA Championship.
Padraig Harrington believes his only chance of beating Tiger Woods in Sunday’s final round of the US PGA Championship is to throw caution to the wind.
Defending champion Harrington halved halfway leader Woods’ four-shot overnight lead at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota on Saturday with a three-under-par third round of 69.
The Irishman was upset, though, by his bogey at the last cost him a crucial shot, but he felt he had caught a break as well when the world number one, who posted a 71, missed a birdie putt at the 18th and lost the chance to go back to three ahead of Harrington and YE Yang after 54-holes.
Harrington won the 2008 US PGA by two shots from Ben Curtis and Sergio Garcia at Oakland Hills, having trailed Curtis by three after the third round.
Overturning Woods’ lead over the final 18 holes in Minnesota, something no-one has achieved in 14 major championships, would be a different prospect and he said he would have to continue to be aggressive.
“The narrower the gap, the better,” Harrington said.
“If I have to take four shots over four days and I’ve taken two the first day, I suppose we’re halfway there.
“Obviously to get a win, you’ve got to beat him by three tomorrow; that’s a tall order, but as I said, everybody in the situation who is behind is going to think, ‘well, we have nothing to lose’.
“You’ve got to have that attitude and I need to have that attitude.
“I’ve got to stand there on every shot and think to myself, ‘well, so what if I hit a bad shot?’.
“I’ve got to have that attitude to just fire it up and go for those shots, and just be concerned about my good shots, and I’m going to catch three shots, that’s the way to do it; certainly not to be in any shape or form cautious.”
Harrington’s bogey did, however, cost him the chance of playing in the final pairing with Woods, who will play with Yang while he partners Henrik Stenson in Sunday’s penultimate pairing, the Swede set to start the day at four under par.
The three-time major winner said he was not about to lose sleep over that.
“I think I don’t have a choice,” he said with a laugh, “so it doesn’t really matter.
“I know if you’re playing with (Tiger), it’s kind of a bit like match play and if you’re not playing with him you’ve got to play your own game.
“I’m not going to be playing with him so I have to stick to my own game and see what happens there.
“I don’t think 10 minutes of a tee time is going to affect anything; it’s not like I’m going to be posting or getting different weather than him or anything.
“I don’t think that’s going to have any effect on it. The effect is obviously being there and watching him hit shots and getting a feel for how it’s all going.
“I’m not going to be in that group and so I’m just going to have to do my own thing.”
Harrington, though, said Korean golfer Yang would hold his own in the company of the 14-time major winner.
“When he won the HSBC Champions two years ago down the stretch, he went all the way against big-name players (including Woods), and he totally outplayed everybody.
“He’s a fine player when he’s in front. He knows what he’s doing.
“So I wouldn’t be too worried about him on Sunday.”
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