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'I found that mental edge I've been lacking' - Pádraig Harrington

The Dubliner also said that a previous win at the Indonesia Open back in December helped improve his confidence substantially.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

IRELAND’S PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON was understandably in buoyant form after triumphing at the Honda Classic today.

Harrington secured the $1m prize money after a tense playoff finish with US golfer Daniel Berger, earning his first PGA Tour win since prevailing at the USPGA in August 2008.

The Dubliner attributed his improvement in form to finding the mental strength that had previously deserted him.

“I was pretty keen on my own form at different stages but I wasn’t delivering,” he told TV reporters. “In 2012 I played well, but I putted very badly — I had the yips.”

“It was tough after that, but last week, I found something in the mental game, which is what’s been going wrong, so I kind of stuck with that this week. It worked half the time — sometimes it didn’t work, but I’m very happy with it.”

He also said that a previous win at the Indonesia Open back in December helped improve his confidence substantially ahead of the Honda Classic in Florida.

“The one good thing for me is I won in Indonesia about five tournaments ago, so believe it or not, when I get in contention, I can hit the shots. The problem has been start of the week, middle-of-the-road shots, easy shots — I’m just not hitting them. When I’ve got tough shots, I can hit them.

“For the last nine holes, I felt like a different person to when I was nine under-par.”

The 43-year-old also admitted that there was a big difference between getting to the top in golf and staying there, and added that he was optimistic today’s success is far from a one-off.

“You do see some changes. You kind of go from the penthouse down to still pretty nice hotels… But there’s no doubt that on your way back down, it’s a lot different.

“Hopefully, this isn’t an isolated win. I really do believe in myself.

“I think I found that mental edge I’ve been lacking the last number of years. So hopefully I can stick with that going forward and be consistently contending, because I know if I am contending, I can win.”

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Paul Fennessy

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