Harrington: Speaks Volumes In Reaching Out To Disappointed McKibbin

… Yas Links, Abu Dhabi 

It continues to speak volumes of Padraig Harrington’s character that he’s intending to reach out to Tour rookie Tom McKibbin, in arranging a practice round ahead of this week’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

It won’t be your normal practice round as Harrington is arranging what he said will be a ‘Battle with the Nordy’s” with Shane Lowry and himself to team in taking on World No. 1 Rory McIlroy and McKibbin.

If was after Harrington’s superb second round of 64 here at Yas Links when he had been speaking of such qualities as attitude, experience, emotions and dealing with adversity and so on, when he was asked what he would say to the 20-year-old McKibbin after his bitter disappointment around 9am earlier on Saturday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Bad light forced officials to call a halt to play on Friday leaving just one group to complete their second round in the $US 9m event leaving McKibbin needing to return to the course at 8am to complete his two remaining holes.

Rookie Tom McKibbin to feature in ‘Battle of the Nordy’s’ this coming week a the Hero Dubai Desert Classic

McKibbin was lying at three-under and two shots inside the one-under cut-off mark.  He pared the 17th but in a bitter blow he stuck his second shot into the water down the left side of the 18th in taking a double-bogey ‘7’ to miss the two-under ‘cut’ by a shot.

Disappointingly it ended the run of four straight four-rounders for the Galgorm Castle-attached McKibbin since moving onto the DP World Tour full-time at the end of last year.

Harrington was asked, if in meeting-up with McKibbin, what advice he would offer Ireland’s potential newest golfing superstar but in doing do, the 36-time pro winner told the tale involving his long-time caddy, Ronan Flood and how Harrington sought to find out what McKibbin had done earlier in the day.

“I’m going to get in touch with Tom, as we’ll have a Battle of the Nordy’s on Tuesday afternoon,” said Harrington.
“It will be Shane and I taking Tom and Rory, so a good opportunity to chat with Tom.

“You know, when I asked Ronan on the golf course how Tom had got on, he went very quiet.  He didn’t say anything.

“I pressed him and then he said, yes.  I said, I knew he didn’t birdie because it would have dropped me.  I worked out my tee time.  I knew he didn’t birdie because it would have dropped me back to 9.30am.

“I didn’t think much about it and then I was out on the golf course and I said well, did he finish par, par, and then Ronan didn’t want to say because I was on 17 when I was asking — or I was on 15 and he knew — Bernie, and I wasn’t asking either.

“So, Ronan wouldn’t tell me that information.  Maybe I should be happy that I fanned it out to the right down the right of 18”.



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