'I definitely did consider pulling out,' Harrington said Tuesday. 'I'm exhausted, I've got to say. I think it will be interesting to see how much I recover by Thursday. Hopefully, when I get up Thursday morning, I'll have that spark and adrenaline to get there and play golf.'
Defending champion Sergio Garcia withdrew on Monday with a back injury, and Chris DiMarco also pulled out, leaving the Booz Allen without any golfers in the world Top 20 rankings. Harrington, at No. 23, is now the top name in the field at the TPC at Avenel course, and the Irishman said the only reason he's here is to honor the commitment he made when he set out his schedule.
'I definitely would like nothing better than to be on a plane home, just chilling out for a week,' Harrington said. 'I hope it's the right decision.'
Harrington finished fifth at the U.S. Open, but three pars instead of three bogeys over the last three holes would have won him his first major title. Harrington, Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie all struggled at the finish at the difficult Winged Foot course, allowing Geoff Ogilvy to take the championship.
'I don't think I've ever been as tired, as deflated from an event ever in my life,' Harrington said.
Officials are no doubt grateful Harrington has decided to compete this week at the Booz Allen, which has struggled to attract big names, even in the years when it hasn't been played in the week following the U.S. Open. An exception was last year, when the event was held the week before the Open at the more prestigious Congressional Country Club.
Next year, the tournament will sink further down the PGA Tour ladder, when it moves to the fall for the first time. The switch has prompted Booz Allen Hamilton not to renew its sponsorship deal, and officials are still trying to complete a deal with a new title sponsor that will keep the tournament from disappearing altogether.
Garcia, whose photo is on the cover of the official program, was expected to be this year's main draw, but hurt his back at the Barclays Classic two weeks ago and withdrew from that tournament during the second round. The No. 9 player in the world aggravated the injury during the U.S. Open and did not make the cut.
'The pain did not get any better during my two rounds at the U.S. Open, and therefore I feel that I am going to need to go home, take some time off, and get it looked at by a doctor,' Garcia said.
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