Harringtons Irish is up at Bethpage


FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Ireland’s Padraig Harrington says he likes the boisterous nature of the galleries at Bethpage Black.

He also likes that so many New Yorkers claim Irish heritage and take pride in their ancestry. How does he know? They all seem to want to tell him.

“I generally have played well in boisterous crowds,” Harrington said. “I like the idea. The more noise around the golf course, the better for me. It adds a buzz to the event.”

Harrington, who came into the season having won back-to-back majors and three of the last six, hasn’t fared well this season. He tied for 35th at the Masters and has missed three of the last four cuts leading into this week’s U.S. Open. Harrington has been working to improve the swing that won him those majors, even against the counsel of his sports psychologist, Bob Rotella, who has gently scolded his player for obsessing too much over his swing.

“There has been a bit of a focus on work I’ve done with my swing,” Harrington said. “In fairness, I’ve done that work all the time at different stages in my career. All the difference now is that I’m a little more high profile and the spotlight is on me and people are noticing what I’m doing.”