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Harrington Attempting To Round The Corner

ABU DHABI, UAE | It is as if Pádraig Harrington’s limbs do not belong to him as the physiotherapist takes control. No less than clubs, they are the tools of the player’s trade and must be fine-tuned for optimum performance. Only when it comes to his neck does Harrington become aware of the manipulations. Momentarily at least, he stops answering questions in this time-saving double of interview-cum-physio-session. He scrunches up his face because the movements hurt but there is no over-the-top reaction. When someone comments that others are apt to swear at this point, Harrington mentions that he has often fallen asleep under the dentist’s drill. “I’m good with pain,” he adds. His attitude towards the tougher times he has known in a golfing context is similarly impressive. Who else among the top players could say, hand on heart, that he had never broken a club or thrown one, and that there had only been one occasion in 18 years when he had tapped in a putt single-handed? Harrington will tell you that it is “a background of losing” that has done as much as anything to shape the way he is. From his amateur days, he lit on the three years between 19 and 21 when he had 24 top-4 finishes but never a win. Then, when he turned professional, his early triumphs went virtually unnoticed because of the unflattering treatment accorded his 31 runner-up spots around the world.
He digressed to comment on the extent to which people’s opinions tend to be shaped by results – and how they fail to consider the possibility of “bad” wins and “good” second places.


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