Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Padraig Harrington  (European Tour)
Padraig Harrington (European Tour)

Padraig Harrington will be looking to use all his experience this week at what is expected to be a wild and windy KLM Open.

The two-time Open Championship winner knows a thing or two about playing in the wind, with his formative years in Ireland helping to hone his game.

The breeze got the better of him at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open as he fired a third round 79 after heading into the weekend with a share of the lead.

That sort of round has been the exception rather than the rule throughout a long and illustrious career, however, and the 46 year old is confident he has the tools to cope.

"Last time I played in these kind of winds was the Scottish Open where I got blown off the course on the Saturday," he said. "Hopefully I can survive a bit better this week as we are due to get a lot of wind this week so it’s going to be a battle.

Hopefully I can play my way into this tournament and give myself a chance to win - Padraig Harrington

"Obviously I am well equipped to handle that battle but you need to get the little breaks here and there to help you handle conditions like that."

Harrington is well known as a student and innovator of the game and while he admits he sometimes can overthink his swing, he knows he can still compete when he gets it working.

"I have to admit that I’m a little bit rusty as I haven’t played for three weeks and then, as you know with me, I have spent those three weeks hitting a lot of balls and now I have got too much going on in my head so I need to calm that down before we get going on Thursday," he said.

"If I can do that then hopefully I can play my way into this tournament and give myself a chance to win."

Lee Westwood is a previous winner of this event and arrives in Spijk off the back of his 500th European Tour event last week.

Those 500 events brought 23 wins, two Order of Merit titles and a spell at Number One in the Official World Golf Ranking, heights he is hopeful of hitting again.

"I have a great history here at the KLM Open and I am delighted to be back," he said. "It feels good to be back in Holland – I have some very fond memories of wining this event and it’s always nice to get back to an event you have won and get a little reminder that you have had success here in the past.

"I’m looking forward to the rest of the year. I still feel like I can compete at the highest level and I’ll keep playing for as long as I believe that. I still have goals and things I would like to achieve in the game. I really want to get my high level of consistency back and believe I can still win a lot of tournaments. I’d like to try and get back to the level of consistency that I had in 1999-2001. I won a lot of tournaments.

"Do I want to get back to World Number One? You never say never with those things. I’m around 60th at the moment and I don’t see why I can’t get back into the top 20. That would be good progress and then once you are playing well in the big events you just don’t know where it can go from there.

"I think when I look back at being World Number One, it’s something I am immensely proud of. Only a few people in history have done it. Also, when you consider I went from fourth to outside the top 250 and then back to World Number One from there then it gives that achievement even more perspective."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1WATTEL, RomainFRA18-15
2CONNELLY, AustinCAN18-14
T3WALTERS, JustinRSA18-13
T3COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-13
T3HEISELE, SebastianGER18-13

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