Wednesday March 20, 2013
Harrington out to put on spectacular show with new spectacles
Reports by S. RAMAGURU AND RAJES PAUL
THREE-TIME Major golf champion Padraig Harrington will mark his return in the Maybank Malaysian Open after a lapse of seven years, with a new look – a pair of studious and cool eyeglasses.
The 41-year-old Harrington, who started wearing glasses last month, is back to win the hearts of golf fans in the US$2.75mil Open starting tomorrow at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.
And he has envisioned an excellent week of golf actions by giving the thumbs-up to the organisers, the challenging golf course and an assembly of star golfers in one of the richest tournament in this region.
“I think 2006 was my last time I played in the tournament. Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic city and Maybank has done a great job in putting up a great event, so I’m delighted to be back,” said Paddington.
“Yes, the glasses. I have a slight stigmatism which causes me to struggle to read the greens. So that’s essentially why I’m wearing them. I’m experimenting with different ones and this pair seems to be good.
“I had it on last week (at the Thailand Open) and the heat did make it quite difficult as I had to take it off quite often to wipe away the sweat.”
He however, does not see the same searing weather in Malaysia as a problem.
“Well I’ve been out here a week already, so this is my second week in Asia. I’m finding it a little hotter than when I was last here – maybe I’m a little heavier now than I was back then. You have to manage yourself in this heat and I do a good job of that,” he said.
Harrington said that he was ready to go on a birdie spree although the course would pose a tricky challenge.
“There’s a good feel about it and the golf course is excellent. They’ve revamped it and it really is an exciting layout. There’s a lot of water and you have to position your tee shots. You have to be aggressive and go after birdies, even though there is plenty of danger out there.”
On the great company that he will have this week, which includes notable foreign stars – world No. 3 Luke Donald, former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, 2011 Malaysian Open champion Matteo Manassero, Asian stars spearheaded by Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Thongchai Jaidee and 22 Malaysian golfers led by Danny Chia, Harrington said: “It would be worth it for the fans. The organisers have done an excellent job in attracting some big stars. It should be a great spectacle on TV and a great show for the fans to come to. It’s grown an awful lot since the last time I was here.”
Harrington is using the Malaysian Open as a platform to build his confidence ahead of the Masters in Augusta and has not given up on his dream to win another Major.
“It’s all about trying to win those Majors. I’m very confident there are plenty ahead for me. I’m not just thinking about one. The interesting thing with Majors is they’re not easy to win and you can never tell when it’s going to happen.
“Ernie Els took 20 years to get to four. It’s been five years since I won my last one and it could be another five years before the next one. You have to stay patient and let it happen,” added Harrington.