Padraig Harrington is determined to put last week’s disqualification behind him, but there was still a positive he took away from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship: his opening-round 65.
However, the Irishman admits shooting a 65 has put more pressure on him for another low score this week at the Volvo Golf Champions in Bahrain.
“I’ll be a bit more anxious this week because you always want to (have) a good start to the year, and in your first tournament four rounds is not a bad start,” Harrington said. “You’re working on things, and obviously I didn’t get that last week. Not having the backing of four rounds of golf last week, just having a one-off, it’s a little bit tougher to go out there.
“People see 65 and maybe they are thinking I’ve solved all the problems in my game and I’m going to shoot 65 every day. But that’s not the reality. So the expectations are higher. . . . It was nice to shoot a good score, so I’m positive about that and I do take some confidence from it.”
Harrington was found to have inadvertently moved his ball in the first round when removing a marker on the seventh green. But he wasn’t penalized until after his round, when a TV viewer called in the infraction. The Irishman subsequently was DQ’d after having signed for a lower score.
The three-time major winner took it all in stride and even showed some humility by instructing a group of children at a golf clinic how to correctly mark the ball.
“(The children) seemed to think marking your ball is all very easy, but obviously it isn’t,” Harrington said with a chuckle Saturday.
“The whole point about golf is that you have to respect the rules, and the whole thing about life in general is that when things don’t go your way, you have to find a way to laugh about it.”