Golf

With another victory in his sights, Padraig Harrington reveals his specific game plan to win

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Padraig Harrington is seeking his seventh PGA Tour Champions victory.
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Padraig Harrington’s Hall-of-Fame-worthy career on the PGA Tour is continuing on the senior circuit.
The 52-year-old seems more prolific than ever on the PGA Tour Champions, with six victories in the last two years, including the 2022 U.S. Senior Open.
And at this week’s PGA Tour Champions tournament, the Hoag Classic in Newport Beach, Calif., Harrington is in position to notch senior win No. 7. After firing rounds of 63-67 (-12), Harrington holds a one-shot lead over Thongchai Jaidee (-11).
While players often default to using platitudes and cliches when asked about a final-round game plan — variations of “one shot at a time,” or “I just try to stay in the present moment” — Harrington, a player long known for his candor and thoughtfulness in interviews, took the opposite approach on Saturday, going into detail on the specifics of how he intends to claim the title.
“I’m going to have to go forward,” he said on Saturday. “You know, one-shot lead over Thongchai is not enough, he seems to be playing very nicely. Yeah, in my head I’m trying to think of 5, 6 under par would take the rest of the field out and would put a lot of work on Thongchai to keep up with that.
“I generally will be aware — if I’m in the lead, I’m always trying to take the field out of play,” he continued. “So like for myself and Thongchai tomorrow, I’d love the two of us to play the front nine 4 under par, both of us, because then it’s between me and him for the last nine holes and the field has got too much to do. That’s my attitude. Hopefully both of us play well, we get going. The last thing I want to do tomorrow is shoot level par and give 8, 9 unders, even 7 unders a chance of competing. Hopefully both of us play well and we sort it out over those last four holes.”
Harrington and Jaidee will play alongside Miguel Angel Jimenez in Sunday’s final grouping at 3:15 p.m. ET. You can tune in to the action starting at 6 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

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