Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Harrington aiming for play-off spot

Padraig Harrington currently sits 129th in the FedExCup standings

Padraig Harrington hopes history can repeat itself at the Wyndham Championship this week.

The Irishman currently sits 129th in the FedExCup standings, four places outside of the qualification places for the play-offs, which begin with The Barclays next week.

Harrington was in almost exactly the same position two years ago when he arrived in Greensboro in 130th place, and a tie for 47th was enough to lift him into 124th.

He made the second play-off tournament too, and is optimistic he will continue his record of always having qualified for the play-offs.

Speaking to reporters, the three-time major winner said: "I think I need to have a good week. I'm thinking top 25 should be good enough. So that's the goal.

"Well, the goal is to go out there and win, and if I can't win obviously finish in the top 25 and give myself a chance of playing in the first FedExCup event and trying to move on from there.

"There's certainly a distraction in it. There's a lot of thinking and talking, what you need to do, and, if anything, you kind of prepare for this week very much as an isolated week."

Harrington, who missed the cut at the US PGA Championship last week, feels he is playing better than his results suggest.

He said: "It's just been an odd year. I haven't really scored very well. I can't put everything together in a given week.

"So you have to have patience and accept that this is going to happen every so often and try and be patient to wait for it to turn around, and hopefully it turns around this week and we move on from there.

"But, to be honest, I'm very happy with the state of my game at the moment and where it's going, and if it doesn't happen this week, I'm sure it will happen over the next number of weeks."

Harrington is not the only big-name player battling to make it into next week's field. Vijay Singh, David Toms, Trevor Immelman, Ben Curtis, Davis Love III and YE Yang are all currently outside the top 125.

Defending Wyndham champion Sergio Garcia does not have to worry about such matters but he is trying to become the first player since Sam Snead in the 1950s to win the title back to back.

The Spaniard does not believe there is anything about the Sedgefield Country Club course that makes successfully defending the crown particularly difficult.

"I think that's just something that happens," he said.

"It's part of the tournament, I guess, to see the history of it, but I don't know what the actual cause of it is. Obviously it's a very demanding golf course. You have to drive the ball well.

"Hopefully it will be nice to change that bit of history. So the only thing I can do is go out there, hopefully play well like I know I can do and we'll see if that's good enough to repeat here."

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