Irish pair fail to fire at Lytham

Sat, Jul 21, 2012, 01:00

Golf:Padraig Harrington was left revising his immediate future schedule after failing to ignite in tandem with Rory McIlroy in the third round of the British Open today, where a 70 for the Dubliner and a 73 for the Ulsterman saw them confined to bit parts as the main drama unfolded.

With the Claret Jug out of reach, Harrington admitted his thoughts were already moving ahead to next month’s US PGA at Kiawah Island and the quest to secure a place on Jose Maria Olazabal’s team for the Ryder Cup in Chicago in September.

Harrington needs a top-five finish here to jump into the world’s top-50 and secure a place in the WGC-Bridgestone but has effectively accepted that is also out of his reach and, so, has added the Reno-Tahoe Open on the US Tour that same week onto his schedule.

“The preparation was very good this week. My head was in the right place this week. All things good. I just didn’t hit my wedges good enough the first two days. And in an effort to get that back on track, there really wasn’t enough time. I kind of messed with my head a bit,” said Harrington after his 70 left him on 212, two-over-par, for 54-holes.

McIlroy’s 73 left him on 215 and well removed from the business end of the championship.

“I was up for it this morning trying to go out there and post a good score. But after playing the front nine like I did, you’re just trying to shoot the best score you can out there. And for me today that was only a 73,” said McIlroy, who had to wait until the 16th hole for his sole birdie of a frustrating round.

“I’m lacking consistency with my swing. Whenever you’re not confident in the shots you’re trying to hit, then it is tough to trust it.”

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