Saturday, August 25, 2018

Harrington hunting sweet 16th title in Prague but says he's not after Ryder Cup team place
 
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This image of Padraig Harrington is displayed by courtesy of Getty Images.
Day Three Report
Three-time Major winner and Ryder Cup vice-captain Padraig Harrington will vie for a 16th European Tour title at the D+D Real Czech Masters after a classy third-round performance handed the Irishman a share of the lead heading into the final round, alongside Italian Andrea Pavan.
Harrington, who made a late call to compete at Albatross Golf Resort, Prague – so late, in fact, that he had no sweater in his suitcase to keep warm in the chilly conditions – has dropped just one shot all week as he continues to turn around a tough season in spectacular fashion.
The 46 year old Dubliner carded his best round of the week, a seven-under 65, to share the lead with Pavan – who also carded a flawless 65 in tricky conditions – on 17-under 199.
The two will face off on Sunday in an intriguing battle as Harrington seeks to join the 14th most decorated European Tour player in history, Mark McNulty, on 16 European Tour titles, while four-time Challenge Tour winner Pavan chases a maiden victory at the top table.
Gavin Green, meanwhile, retains hope of becoming the first Malaysian winner on the tour as he lies three shots off the leaders in outright third place, following a battling two under par 70.
 Scott Jamieson is a shot further back, on his own in fourth, while Ryder Cup hopefuls Eddie Pepperell and Thomas Pieters are both six shots off the lead in a four-way tie for 11th position.
Player quotes
Padraig Harrington
“I feel like it was a day too early. It took a lot out of me, a lot of focus and I holed the putts that you’d like to be holing on a Sunday. I’m hoping there’s still another round in it but it was certainly one of those days that you’d like to get on a Sunday afternoon rather than a Saturday afternoon.
“To be honest, I came from the States, I was there for four weeks and I’ve no sweater in the suitcase! It was 90 degrees Fahrenheit plus all the time in America and there was a good forecast all week here too, so you’ll see me in my polo shirt tomorrow.
“You’ve got to go out there expecting a roller-coaster, you’d love it not to be but that’s what you’ve got to prepare yourself for – that you’ll make some mistakes mentally, you’ll get good and bad breaks, you’ll hole some putts and you’ll miss some. You’ve got to prepare yourself for that. It’s too much to dream of a nice perfect day so we’ll prepare ourselves for a bit of everything.
“I always work on my length. Sometimes I get criticised for working on it but clearly you’re not going to compete on this golf course if you’re not going to hit it out there. Everyone on this course, especially the leaders going into today, were big hitters.
"You’ve got to get it out there for those par fives and if you’re not in range for some of the par fours with shorter clubs, they become difficult.
“It is a big-hitters golf course and that’s one of the reasons why I work on hitting it that far. I don’t want to be disadvantaged and turn up at a golf course where I feel I can’t compete, and I’m 47 next week and I’m hitting it further than ever.
“In my mind I was trying to rationalise that I’ve got to get 20 under par for the tournament and obviously I got quite a long way down that road, we’re three ahead of the pack so hopefully we move ahead and get out there and have good front nines and have it as a duel between the two of us. That would the nice scenario but it very rarely is the nice scenario on a Sunday.
“I’m not in the running for Ryder Cup at all. This is clearly a different course than what we’d be competing on in France so even if I did show unbelievable form this week, it’s not comparable. I don’t deserve to be there and I’m leaving it to the young guys.
“I’ve had some Ryder Cups and played well in some Ryder Cups, enjoyed them, but it’s time for the young guys. If you look at all of the Vice Captains, we’re all pretty decent players but I think at this stage we’ve all realised we can go and compete, but it’s now down to the young guys to go out and do the real business at The Ryder Cup.”
Andrea Pavan
“It was very good, seven under was just a very good round and I hit it very well off the tee, I was always in play which is very nice. I putted really well especially on the back nine, I made a lot of good putts and a couple of good par saves.
“Putting has definitely been key this week, I’ve been good off the tee and good enough with my approach shots in the last couple of days and today towards the end it was a little bit more difficult, I missed a couple of shots but the putter did a lot of good work.
“The level of play in these conditions is very good and you just have to make birdies, there are a lot of wedges and when you have a wedge in your hand you have to be aggressive and look at hitting it pretty close. The greens are so smooth and rolling so nicely I think that’s why a lot of people are making birdies and the scores are this low.
“I’m definitely looking forward to playing with Padraig tomorrow. It’s the first time I’m in this position on the European Tour so it will be good, probably a long day but I’ll just try to keep doing my own thing and not watch him too much. He’s obviously won  lot of tournaments and has a lot og experience so I will  try to enjoy it as much as I can.”
Gavin Green
“I struggled off the tee, I was everywhere today. I have to feel for Jeff (Winther), he must have felt we were in different groups today. But I recovered really well and putted pretty decent, had a couple of really good lag putts that gave me pars on the par fives.
“But I ground it out and shot two under and I’m still in the hunt tomorrow so it’s OK, not terrible. It’s going to be fun tomorrow , I’m enjoying it and just having fun and trying to shoot as many under as I can.
“I think you need to play aggressive out there. If my driving was solid I think it would have been better but I was out of position so many times I couldn’t get close to the pin, so I was grinding for pars.
“Thankfully the par fives gave me birdie opportunities so I think tomorrow we’ll just try keep the drives in play tomorrow and hopefully take advantage.
“Depends on what the wind is like tomorrow, if the wind is calm and somebody goes crazy, who knows, it’s going to be low. So tomorrow we’re just going to go out and give ourselves as many birdie opportunities as possible and try go from there.”
Scores:
 par 216 (3x72)
199 P Harrington (Ire) 66 68 65, A Pavan (Ita) 65 69 65
202 G Green (Malaysia) 64 68 70
203 S Jamieson (Sco) 67 68 68
204 T Pulkkanen (Finland) 65 69 70, N Bertasio (Ita) 66 71 67, P Khongwatmai (Thailand) 69 67 68 
205 L Slattery (Eng) 65 72 68, T Pieters (Belgium) 64 70 71, E Pepperell (Eng) 66 71 68, A Knappe (Ger) 67 69 69
206 T Lewis (Eng) 69 66 71, S Vincent (Zimbabwe) 67 71 68, C Tarren (Eng) 64 72 70, S Lee (S Korea) 66 69 71 
207 M Schwab (Austria) 69 69 69, A Rai (Eng) 67 68 72, M Kieffer (Ger) 69 70 68, L Bjerregaard (Denmark) 68 72 67, J Smith (Eng) 70 69 68, A Bland (Australia) 71 68 68, N Elvira (Spn) 65 73 69, J Ritchie (SAf) 70 70 67, J Kruyswijk (SAf) 70 68 69 
208 J Winther (Denmark) 65 68 75, C Bezuidenhout (SAf) 71 66 71, C Shinkwin (Eng) 67 73 68, C Syme (Sco) 66 70 72, B Hebert (Fra) 69 70 69, D Lipsky (USA) 69 69 70, M Wallace (Eng) 70 65 73, H Stewart (USA) 69 70 69,
209 M Nixon (Eng) 68 70 71, S Heisele (Ger) 72 67 70, A Connelly (Canada) 69 70 70, J Walters (SAf) 71 69 69, D Boonma (Thailand) 70 69 70, G Bhullar (India) 68 71 70, J Guerrier (Fra) 71 67 71, P Karmis (Greece) 69 71 69, P Widegren (Swe) 71 69 69, J Daly (USA) 64 75 70, D Willett (Eng) 68 70 71, H Porteous (SAf) 71 69 69, P Hanson (Swe) 66 69 74
210 R Cho (S Korea) 70 70 70, J Scrivener (Australia) 71 68 71, J Morrison (Eng) 70 69 71, B Neil (Sco) 68 69 73, J Donaldson (Wales) 68 68 74, L Westwood (Eng) 66 72 72
211 R Bland (Eng) 69 71 71, C Koepka (USA) 67 69 75, R Paratore (Ita) 67 72 72, M Baldwin (Eng) 70 68 73, N Cullen (Australia) 68 70 73, L Herbert (Australia) 69 71 71, S Gallacher (Sco) 69 70 72
212 R Evans (Eng) 67 73 72, J Edfors (Swe) 70 69 73, D Howell (Eng) 69 71 72, P Angles (Spn) 67 73 72
213 J Choi (S Korea) 69 70 74, R Jacquelin (Fra) 71 69 73
214 J Thomson (Eng) 68 70 76, C Hanson (Eng) 72 67 75
215 A Chesters (Eng) 68 72 75, C Ford (Eng) 70 70 75
216 P Peterson (USA) 70 69 77 
217 S Gros (Fra) 70 70 77
219 S Hend (Australia) 71 69 79

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