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Shell Houston Open: Harrington flies in well under radar

By Bernie Maguire

While Padraig Harrington put himself in the spotlight in Houston he'll arrive at Augusta National later today happy not to be among those on centre stage.

This year marks Harrington's 12th appearance in the Masters and since 2000 he's missed just one Major — the 2005 Open when his father passed away.

But of the three Irish players teeing-up in Georgia, it's Harrington who is coming in, by private plane, well under the radar.

“I think going into Augusta under the radar is a good place for me to be,” he said.

“While it would be wrong to say that I don't want to be back at the top of the game, arriving out of the spotlight is not all bad.

“Plus, there are so many other Europeans doing well at the moment. It is spectacular how many are up there on the rankings.

“It's like you have to be in the top 10 to get any attention at all, whereas in the past we had maybe one or two in the top 10, now we have almost half of the top 20.”

Harrington put in the usual long hours on the range and putting green but in the lead-up to the Shell Houston Open even Wilson Staff's Ron Graham noticed a change for the better.

“It's easily the best prepared Padraig has been ahead of going to Augusta,” said Graham.

“The more you play Augusta and the more experience you gain, the better off you are.”

If Harrington's right then late Sunday night next he'll rightly deserve the limelight.

Belfast Telegraph

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