Harrington Shows His Czech Masters Fondness As Stenson Continues To Impress In Prague

Padriag Harrington has continued to show his fondness for the host course as Henrik Stenson also impresses on day two at the Czech Masters.

Harrington, who was runner-up in the 2018 event, added a second round 71 to his opening score of 70 to be just outside the top-30 at three-under par on the Albatross course located on the south-western outskirts of Prague.

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain commenced his second round with a 10th hole birdie but then made a mess of the par-4 17th for a second day in posting a double-bogey, and a day after taking a bogey.

Though Harrington regained the two lost shots with birdies at the first and second holes, or the 10th and 11th of his round, ahead of seven closing pars.

Three years ago and Padraig Harrington sharing the lead heading to final round of the 2018 Czech Masters. (Photo – European Tour)

“I’ve been steady enough and haven’t really been in too much trouble,” he said.

“I’ve made too many pars and could do with a couple of those putts dropping.  I’m hitting some good putts that aren’t going in. If they go in on the weekend, I’ve left myself with a lot to do, but you feel like you could shoot a good score, shoot a couple of 65s over the weekend.

“It’s a lot of work to be done, but if I start holing some putts, it could happen”.

It’s now a third European Tour event in succession the current No. 38 on the Race to Dubai standings has assured himself a weekend pay cheque, and in what is his 453rd Tour event.

Harrington showed his fondness for the course three years ago posting scores of 66, 68, 65 and 69 for a 20-under par total and lost out by two shots to Italian Andrea Pavan.

“I do like the golf course and I feel I can get it up and down from anywhere around these greens”, said Harrington.

“There’s no real short side for me, so I can be aggressive. There is heavier rough this year than 2018 when I played, but it’s not too intimidating off the tee.

“One is my strength and one is my weakness, both of them are avoided here, let’s say”.

This year it’s fellow Open Champion Henrik Stenson well in the mix and midway through the second day, the Swede adding a second round 69 to move to within a shot of clubhouse leader, American Sam Crocker who shot a 67 to move to nine-under par.

And Stenson is reaping the reward for the effort he made to travel to Prague from North Carolina after failing to qualify for the PGA Tour’s Play-Off Finals.

“I think that speaks volumes of my putting, course management and some tidy shots around the greens when I have been missing”, said Stenson.

“I definitely give my putting the biggest credit these first two days as to why we’re bogey-free and in a good position. There’s more to ask with the long game, but I still hit fairways and greens, I want a bit more than I have produced these two days, but we’re in good shape and I’m looking forward to the weekend”.

And after playing alongside Harrington for the two rounds, Stenson already has done his Ryder Cup selection chances well in hopefully being picked by the Irishman.

“I was expecting to give it my best as I’ve got four tournaments to build some momentum to be in the hat that Pádraig is going to pick three names out of,” said Stenson.

“I expected to give it my best and scoring-wise it’s probably better than I was hoping for coming in from three weeks off. I’ve done some practice but haven’t been playing a lot of golf on the course as of late, so it’s nice to be out there and keep the scores going in these first two rounds”.

Gavin Moynihan is also into the weekend rounds with scores of 71 and 72 but with Michael Young heading home early with scores of 76 and 75.

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