Padraig Harrington questions Tiger’s decision to skip Open warm-up

Padraig Harrington has questioned how serious Tiger Woods is about winning the Open without playing a warm-up event first.

For Harrington, it would be unthinkable not to properly prepare for a major by playing in a warm-up event or two, and he admitted he was surprised to hear that Woods would not be teeing it up at either this week’s Irish Open or the Scottish Open next week.

Woods will instead head straight to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland when the Open tees off the following week.

The former World No 1 also decided against playing between his Masters victory in April and the PGA Championship the following month, which resulted in a missed cut at Bethpage Black.

“I personally think if you’re serious about winning the Open you’ve got to be playing tournament golf at least before it,” Harrington said.

“You’d rather be playing links golf and being in a tournament than just [playing] on your own, so if you’re serious about trying to win the Open you should be playing at least one, if not two, of the events running into it.

“I was always mightily impressed when Tiger Woods would play in a major without playing the week before. I’d be a basket case if I didn’t play the week before.

“Different personalities [are] completely different. But I do think links golf is different. You’re giving up some shots if you don’t play some links golf in the couple of weeks coming up to it. There’s no better way to understand your clubbing than when you’ve got a card in your hand and if you under-club there’s a little bit of pain and you remember it.”