Harrington Garcia Set for Duel in Spain


European TourThe European Tour is down to its last full-field event of the 2006 season with this week's stop in Spain for the fourth edition of the Mallorca Classic.
Headlining the field are a pair of Spain's favorite golfing sons - Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal, who also happen to be former champions here at the Pula Golf Club.
Although the event has only been played three times previously, the host country has enjoyed the pleasure of having the trophy stay within its borders. In the event's inaugural year of 2003, Miguel Angel Jimenez took home the title follow by Garcia in 2004 and Olazabal last year.
They'll be joined by Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who added this event to his schedule in hopes of winning the Order of Merit title after winning the Dunhill Links Championship two weeks ago. With that victory he closed the gap between him and Paul Casey to just over $250,000.
With a first-place prize of $365,000, a win would cause Harrington to leap over Casey and give him the inside track to a career first, and much sought after, Order of Merit title.
'It would be a big deal to me to win the Order of Merit. You know, once you hit September, you really start thinking about the Order of Merit if you're in with a chance of it,' said the Irishman.
An honor so close to his heart he ranks it just behind the winning of a major.
'Well, the Order of Merit is directly behind the major. You know, end of the day, you can win whatever tournaments you like, but you're going to be judged on the end of your career, okay, how many tournament wins you have, and then, okay, you're going to be judged on did you win majors and then you're going to be judged on did you win Order of Merit,' continued Harrington. 'But definitely, I would like to have an Order of Merit.'
It will be a tall order however for Harrington to break the Spanish stronghold in this event. In addition to Garcia's win two years ago, he finished runner-up to Olazabal last year.
Also on the line are spots still open for inclusion into the European Tour's season-ending Volvo Masters. The top-60 on the tour's Order of Merit qualify for the event at Valderrama.
The purse for the event is $2,193,368 with $365,000 going to the winner.
The Golf Channel will televise all four days live beginning Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.
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