Padraig Harrington backs himself ahead of Irish Open


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Ireland’s Padraig Harrington is confident he can win the Irish Open despite his poor form of late.

The two-time major champion has struggled on the European Tour in 2018 and has missed the cut in seven of his last 12 events across both tours.

As a result, he has slipped down to 268th in the world rankings and bookies are considering him a real outsider for the tournament which starts on Thursday.

Harrington has been practising at the venue in County Donegal for the last few days and he believes he can upset the odds this weekend.

The 46-year-old’s best finish this year is a share of 36th at last month’s Italian Open but Harrington believes he has too much experience on links courses as he tries to challenge at Ballyliffin.

“The bookies don’t normally get it wrong but they priced me up like we were playing a parkland course which would probably be a reasonable price on a parkland course,” he said.

“But on a links golf course, that’s a surprise. I’d get out there quick [and put money on me].”

Harrington is 81.00 to win this weekend, while Graeme McDowell will also try to succeed on home soil at odds of 51.00.

He missed the chance to qualify for the Open after his clubs were lost on the way back from France.

However, he was reunited with them ahead of Wednesday’s Pro-am and he will be determined to make a mark as he tries to qualify for the major events at the end of the year.

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