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Friday, 19 March 2010
The 138th Open Championship - Previews  (Getty Images)
The 138th Open Championship - Previews (Getty Images)

Padraig Harrington admits he is struggling with his game as he attempts to win a third successive Open but if he can get into position on Sunday afternoon, he knows he can win.

It is often said Major Championships don’t start until the back nine on Sunday, when the pressure really starts to kick in and the nerves start to jangle. Many had fallen at the final hurdle, but Harrington knows what it takes to come through.

Harrington won The Open at Carnoustie in 2007, successfully defended the title a year later at Royal Birkdale - the first European to do so since 1906 - and then won the USPGA Championship at Oakland Hills three weeks later.

"The one thing I know is that if I get in position I can win,” he said. “That's the nice thing.  Others can get there, but they won't win.  So at least I know I can do it if I can get into position.  Can I get into position is what's in doubt.”

The Dubliner then embarked on radical swing changes over the winter and has struggled this season, missing five cuts in a row before winning the Irish PGA Championship last week. But Turnberry has a habit of producing great Champions, and Harrington is certainly that.

“Turnberry has produced three great Opens,” he said. “Yes, there were great champions, but they were also great Opens, they were absolutely fantastic spectacles of golf.  That's the great thing about this golf course; it's a very fair golf course.
 
"There will be birdies made this week from the fairway, the penalty will be missing those fairways. The guy who drives it well this week has an advantage, much more than at any Open course I have seen for a long time.

“There will be quite an amount of excitement this week, and I'd like to be in the heat of the hunt with nine holes to go, because anything can happen this week.  You could see a significant swing in the last nine holes of this tournament, as you could see all the way through, but it will obviously be more pronounced in the last nine holes.

“It's one of those weeks to hang in there, get yourself in position for those last nine holes, if you're on form for those nine holes you can make birdie.  It's a good golf course.  That's the ideal golf course is one that lets you make birdie when you play well and punishes you when you play badly.  And I think this is a course that is going to do that this week.”

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