Padraig Harrington Photo by: sportinglife.com

Harrington ready to challenge for Irish Open title but McIlroy looms


Padraig Harrington Photo by: sportinglife.com

Padraig Harrington is in prime position to lead the home charge on the final day of the Irish Open at Royal Portrush – but Rory McIlroy is threatening to make a run at the leaders.

Harrington sits two shots off the pace set by Welshman Jamie Donaldson who heads the field on 12 under par.

The Dubliner will start Sunday’s final round in the penultimate group while McIlroy is six shots off the pace.

With girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki by his side, Rory is ready to rush up the leaderboard on Sunday on a course he knows inside out and once covered in a record 61 shots as a 16-year-old.

“I just want to shoot a good score and see what happens. It would be nice to put on a good finish and look forward to the Open in a couple of weeks,” said McIlroy.

“I’m going to try to get to at least 14 under to have any sort of chance. And I think I can do it if I get off to a fast start and put pressure on the boys at the top of the leaderboard.”

Searching for his first tour win in two years, Harrington is sitting pretty in third place and will have the backing of the sell-out crowd on Sunday afternoon.

He said: “I would have said that nothing could compare to my first Irish Open win, but to win the first one in Northern Ireland in 40 years would be right up there.

“Having been there and done it before should help, even though it is two years since my last win!

“I just want to put pressure on the leaders as early as possible and use the home crowd to my advantage.”


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