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Harrington playing waiting game

Padraig Harrington, down to a shocking 89th in the world, expects to win more majors in his career.

Not just hopes to, but expects to.

"That's a big, strong word, but I do - yeah," the 40-year-old Dubliner said at Fancourt in South Africa, where his season starts with the Volvo Golf Champions.

"I didn't have a great year last year, but it doesn't worry me in the greater scheme of things because I know you just can't win them every year. You have to sit there and be patient and wait for your turn - and, like 2007 and 2008, they all come at once."

Three years ago Harrington became the first European since 1906 to make a successful defence of the Open, then a month later became the first European to win the USPGA Championship since 1930.

Last season, though, the best he did in the majors was 45th at the US Open and missed cuts at the Masters and Open accelerated his slump down the rankings.

With the world's top four of Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer all deciding not to play - they along with Tiger Woods start in Abu Dhabi next week - this week is a golden opportunity for Harrington to stop the slide and start climbing again.

A field restricted to European Tour winners since the start of last season and those with 10 or more titles on the circuit is only 35 strong.

Defending champion Paul Casey is another absentee, having dislocated his shoulder snowboarding, but Harrington does not criticise the world number 20 for taking to the slopes in Colorado.

"You wouldn't function as a person or a golfer if you don't live your life," he said. "Any accident is unfortunate and some people may think why take the risk, but if you sat in a hotel room or at home looking at four walls you wouldn't be a very good golfer. You have to live your life."

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