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Harrington relishing the pressure

Padraig Harrington admits he is champing at the bit for the Ryder Cup to arrive.

For the first time in his career Harrington has needed a wild card after failing to qualify and with the match at Celtic Manor now less than two weeks away he has spoken of the extra pressure that brings.

"When you get picked you are under the spotlight more," said the Dubliner, controversially preferred to current world number seven Paul Casey when he was without a Tour title for over two years and had not won any of his last nine cup games.

Harrington added: "You have something to prove, in many ways you're trying to justify it. There's definitely more pressure, but pressure brings a bit more adrenaline, more nerves, more focus.

"I'm into this well in advance - it's all about the Ryder Cup. I'm trying to hold myself back and I'm excited about getting into it.

"It definitely feels different. You are told to be there Monday of Ryder Cup week and I am like 'great - ready to go', whereas two years ago I was 'that's very early. Do I need to be there Monday? Do I have to?'

"When you get picked you are up for everything. You kind of want to get there extra early. You want to go the extra step. Last time I was tired and wanted to do my own thing."

Harrington managed only one half-point in the Valhalla defeat, which followed his successful defence of The Open and then just three weeks later another victory at the US PGA.

"I was flat then. Whatever happens this time I don't think I'm going to be flat," he said.

"I'm hoping for the Ryder Cup to be my peak this year. I'm working towards that and definitely there's a sense of expectation."


From Belfast Telegraph