Padraig Harrington is just one round away from ending a long four-year winless drought after storming his way into contention on day three of the Traveller’s Championship in Connecticut.
The Dubliner will head to the final day on nine under par and just three strokes from the leadin duo of England’s Brian Davis and American Roland Thatcher.
Davis (64) and Thatcher (65) head the field by two strokes and will have the big added pressure of seeking a first PGA Tour success.
Harrington commenced day three of the $US 6m event at three under par and his round didn’t commence all that well when the Irishman bogeyed the par four, fourth hole.
However the triple Major winner, who has not tasted success on either the PGA or European Tour’s since capturing the 2008 PGA Championship, jumped into the Traveller’s fast lane with five birdies in succession from the sixth hole.
Harrington then moved to six under par for the round with birdies at the 12th and 13th holes before dropping a shot at the 14th but quickly regaining the shot with a birdie at the 15th to move to 10-under par overall.
But just when Harrington looked to carry that momentum into the last round he dropped a shot at the last and headed to the scorer’s hut to sign for a five under par 65 but with the TPC Cromwell course clubhouse lead on nine under par.
Harrington was reminded after his round the tournament has a history of first time winners and his response was: “Hopefully, not this year.”
However given the nature of the scoring this week, the current World No. 75 ranked Harrington will need something like a 63 if he is to end a long victory drought.
“Who knows what it’s going to take to win the tournament tomorrow,” he said.
“I’m certainly playing well enough to do it, but you gotta play well and hole the putts and things have gotta fall into place. And you know, there’s a lot of people on this leaderboard.
“You’re certainly looking at maybe a 16 under par or something like that. Never quite sure. Who knows what day we’re going to get, and obviously the pins are tough enough out there, the greens will firm up a little bit between now and tomorrow afternoon.
“So you gotta hit the right shots at the right time. Might take a 63 and a 63 might not be good enough. So I’ve just gotta go out there and go with the cliche and play one shot at a time.”
And Harrington, despite suffering a little fatigue from having contested last week’s U.S. Open, declared he’s fully fit after an incident with a buggy earlier in the week that saw him having to seek treatment on an injured wrist.
“No. I’m still fine,” he declared.
“One thing I have is experience. When you get a knock like that, if you ice it straightaway, it doesn’t become anything. You can be careless. If you ice it within the first minutes, it makes a big difference. I don’t know if there was going to be an issue, but there’s no issue now. ”