Irishman Padraig Harrington is determined to put his disqualification last week firmly behind him and build on his encouraging early season form at the Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain this week.
The three-time Major Champion carded a 65 in the first round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, only to be later disqualified for inadvertently nudging his ball when he picked up his marker on the seventh green, an incident that went unnoticed at the time but was subsequently picked up on slow motion television replays.
It was disappointing for Harrington, but the 39 year old is eager to draw a line under it and focus on bouncing back at inaugural Volvo Golf Champions.
“If you turn up at a tournament you never want to be talking about other things and be distracted,” he said. “So this week has been very much about getting into this tournament and last week was last week.
“We are all new to (the course) this week so nobody has an advantage. It really is a blank canvas. It’s very exciting to see somewhere new, experience a different place, different culture. That’s one of the great things about The European Tour – we go to so many fascinating places.”
Harrington admits shooting a 65 has put more pressure on him as there is now expectation for him to follow that with another low score in Bahrain.
“I’ll be a bit more anxious this week because you always want to get a good start to the year and in your first tournament four rounds is not a bad start,” he said. “You’re working on things, and obviously I didn’t get that last week. Not having the backing of four rounds of golf last week, just having a one-off, it’s a little bit tougher to go out there.
“People see 65 and maybe they are thinking I’ve solved all the problems in my game and I’m going to shoot 65 every day. But that’s not the reality. So the expectations are higher but we are still starting from zero at the start of the week and it does bring a little bit more pressure.
“It was nice to shoot a good score so I’m positive about that and I do take some confidence from it. I did some good preparation and while I didn’t play perfect golf, the mental side was strong.”
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