Sean O'Shea by Sean O'Shea
Padraig Harrington fears Tiger Woods in Ryder Cup
Posted on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 01:30 PM
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Tiger Woods will bust a gut at this year’s Ryder Cup to prove he can still compete with the best says Irish star Padraig Harrington.
“The Ryder Cup could be the pinnacle of his year, like it could be for me," said Harrington of his fellow wild card pick.
“He will be in a fighting mood for the week, in a mood to perform.”
"At the last one in 2008, I was a bit burned out. But going into this one Tiger's not going to be that way and I'm not going to be that way," said Harrington in a conference call with reporters.
"He's not coming into this Ryder Cup having achieved a lot of his goals this year and he's probably thinking, 'I want to play well to make it a successful year.'"
Asked if he would have picked Woods, the Irishman replied, "Yes, 100%, absolutely. He is the number one golfer in the world and he's been showing good form of late.
"He has a presence and intimidation factor. Matchplay will suit him.
"I think he's going to be strong enough to stand up on the tee box against anybody. Certainly no bookmaker will make him a longshot in his singles match."
"In previous Ryder Cups, Tiger has struggled with the structure of the event," said Harrington
"Playing a practice round at 11 o'clock in the morning, I don't think he's ever done that in his life. Normally he's out at 6 o'clock and by 11 he's out of there and off the golf course.
"There are a lot of things at a Ryder Cup that don't fit into Tiger's normal schedule. But having got a pick this year he might feel a bit like me and turn round and say, 'What do you need me to do?' ... and be much more focused on the team."
Harrington said he was delighted to get a pace as a captain’s pick and realizes how close he came to being left out.
"I regret my schedule big time," he said. "I focused on the world rankings, assuming I was going to have a bumper year.
"My schedule was poor. If you want to make the team you need to play more. Next time round I'll be looking at making the top nine money winners."
"When you go in as a pick you have got more to prove and in many ways you are trying to justify it," he said. "I definitely feel under more pressure."
"Last time I had won a couple of majors ... and I really struggled to get back up for the Ryder Cup.
"It's the opposite this year. I'm hoping to be at my peak."