NEWPORT, Wales – Europe’s Padraig Harrington snapped his winless Ryder Cup spell saying the extra responsibility of guiding a rookie helped bring out the best in his game.
Harrington broke a run of 10 consecutive Ryder Cup matches without a victory in Saturday’s second session, teaming with Ross Fisher in foursomes to defeat the American team of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson 3-and-2.
Harrington credited European captain Colin Montgomerie for the motivational spark.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure,” Harrington said of his drought. “It was tough going into the fourballs. I suppose our captain was giving me some extra responsibility in foursomes. I was like a mini-captain, going out to look after Ross and help and guide him along. It made me play much better.”
Harrington, a three-time major champion, was questioned in some circles as a captain’s pick because he was 0-7-2 in the last two Ryder Cups. He didn’t help himself failing to make a birdie in this year’s opening fourballs match, offering no help to Luke Donald in their 3-and-2 loss to American rookies Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton.