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Padraig Harrington shows everyone what they have been missing

By Karl MacGinty

There were many keys to the kingdom for Padraig Harrington at the Honda Classic.

Not least the 'Happy Gilmore' pre-shot routine Harrington's English swing coach Peter Cowen recommended he take onto the golf course.

Harrington entertains spectators on practice ranges around the world by repeatedly hitting shots on the run, blazing ball after ball into the wide blue yonder.

Well, all day yesterday, he stepped through with his right foot on his practice swings, a measure suggested by Cowen.

It sounds complex but this ingeniously simple device helped the Major champion who lies within Harrington to once again show himself.

It's not coincidence that Harrington thrust himself to the top of a US leaderboard through 36 holes for the first time in five years after playing through gusting, madding winds.

The sheer strength of character which helped Harrington recover from the horror of hitting two shots into the water at 18 on Sunday at Carnoustie to beat Sergio Garcia in sudden-death for the Claret Jug in 2007 will go with him to his grave.

It's a question of coupling it to the physical skills he clearly possesses in abundance.

It was a humbling descent into darkness for a man used to breathing the sweet air at the summit of world golf.

Yet from each of the many humbling reverses he endured on the golf course, Harrington invariably emerged smiling, even if it was rather strained looking at times.

Above all, he never lost faith nor sight of the pure steel which lies at the core of Padraig Harrington, one of his generation's greatest golfers.

Many may have doubted but he remained true to himself. 'Happy Harrington' is back and heading for the top of the world.

Belfast Telegraph

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