Old putting demons back to haunt Harrington as he trails McDowell
Three-time PGA Tour winner Howard Twitty is convinced that Pádraig Harrington will overcome his putting demons and win again.
The 64-year old from Arizona, who has been helping with Harrington with elements of his putting since May last year, is convinced that the Dubliner’s work ethic and determination will eventually win the day.
“Pádraig looks at a goal and says, ‘I am going to find away to get there’,” Twitty said at the Accenture Match Play.“ He is truly a great, great man. No one works harder. “Hewas workedvery hard on his aim and he is doing a lot better now. When we started last year, it was his alignment that was giving him trouble but the grip we have invented helps his perception and allows him to get the putter blade back to square.
“He is a very good athlete and a great player and while it looks like he has gone a little off track recently, I’d be surprised if he didn’t do well the next couple of weeks.”
The snow delay has brought the venue’s suitability as a World Golf Championship venue into focus with calls for it to be moved to a less remote location as soon as possible.
However, Dove Mountain’s contract does not run out until 2014 and while few players like its rollercoaster greens, it appears that the organisers’ hands are tied until then.
In a Golf World magazine survey of the most popular and unpopular tour stops amongst the players, Ritz-Carlton Golf Club came 51st of 52 courses with anonymous professionals commenting “The greens were almost cool, but way off...” and “Hate to say it, but there is just nothing positive to say.”
Poor crowds have not helped Tucson’s cause but it is the greens, rather than this week’s freak weather, that have given the most grief.
Highly undulating, they were doing little for Harrington’s confidence last night as he missed three putts inside five feet to trail Graeme McDowell by two holes at the turn.
Resuming over a four and a half footer on the first, he knocked it in to take a one up lead after McDowell had missed from 25 feet for par. But the demons quickly took over.
McDowell hit a flop shot to 12 feet at the par-five second and rolled in the putt to leave Harrington facing a four-footer for a half.
But the Dubliner’s effort dribbled over the right edge and while he got up and down from sand at the next to remain all square, he was soon two down.
After missing an slippery 11-footer for a win at the fourth, the three-time Major winner three-putted the fifth and sixth, missing from inside five feet both times.
It was also an early struggle for Shane Lowry against world number one Rory McIlroy in one of the most eagerly-awaited clashes of the day.