Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 October 2014

Harrington struggles in practice

Padraig Harrington

A day after being the subject of fulsome praise from his captain, Padraig Harrington struggled to live up to the hype in the early stages of Wednesday's practice round for the Ryder Cup.

Harrington was Colin Montgomerie's most controversial wild card pick after going without a win for more than two years and failing to win a game at Valhalla in 2008 or the K Club in 2006.

The three-time major winner did finish the Vivendi Cup in Paris on Sunday with a round of 64 however, and Montgomerie stated: "He's playing the best golf of my team," after Tuesday's opening practice round.

However, the thousands of fans who braved the rain to watch Harrington play at Celtic Manor on Wednesday would have been left with a different impression as the Dubliner pulled his opening drive deep into the gallery left of the fairway.

His second tee shot was also left of the target, albeit only into a fairway bunker, and his third would have found the water to the left of the green on the 189-yard par three if not for the wet conditions.

The mood among the European quartet - Harrington was playing with Peter Hanson, Ross Fisher and Lee Westwood - was still good however, Westwood's caddie Billy Foster jokingly calling out 'No cameras please' on the second tee as Harrington was about to tee off.

Spectators are allowed to bring cameras onto the course during the practice days - but not on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - and many were taking full advantage.

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