Wednesday, 20 March 2019
Padraig Harrington  (Getty Images)
Padraig Harrington (Getty Images)

Padraig Harrington says his recovery from a wrist injury is "ahead of expectations" as he prepares to play his first event of the 2019 Race to Dubai season at the Maybank Championship.

The 15-time European Tour winner is back in action for the first time since November following a lay-off with a wrist problem.

And while the Irishman admits he has not yet fully recovered, he is confident progress is being made and is looking forward to teeing it up in Malaysia.

Harrington, who will captain Team Europe at The Ryder Cup in 2020, said: "I wouldn't say the wrist is 100 per cent, it might not be 100 per cent for about nine months, or at least another six or seven months. I'm working away at it. 

"Traditionally the Malaysian Open was my first event of the season, if you go back 20 years, so it's my first event this year and I'm looking forward to that good karma, let's say. 

"It's interesting to come out here. I hit shots on the range here, I hit shots last week and the wrist is holding up, there's no doubt about it. 

"There's a certain amount of mobility issues and I need to work on the strength of it. Maybe hit a few less balls in the short term, but in general it's right on track. If anything it's probably ahead of expectations."

Harrington thinks the firmness of the greens at Saujana Golf and Country Club will provide a tough test for the field this week.

"It's a very good set up this year," he added. "The changes to the greens have substantially changed the way the course will play. They also have nice run offs - every green has this five or six yards of fairway run-off where you run on into a little collar of rough - very, very awkward. 

"The greens are firm. It looks difficult to me, you can never quite tell. It looks like the changes are excellent, a really, really good challenge.

"It's actually not tricky as a golf course, the firm greens are what will make it difficult this week. Some people might call firm greens tricky, but at the end of the day quality golf shots are going to have to be hit into the greens. You'll have to be on the fairway hitting those shots.

"I think the golf course is difficult in the right way. We're not used to coming to Asian tournaments where the greens are this firm. It's a wake-up call."

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