Can Harrington End the Drought

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OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. -- Europeans are too creative to win the U.S. Open. At least thats one way to surmise why no European-born player has won this event since Tony Jacklin in 1970.
 
U.S. Open golf is really not what European golfers are familiar with, said Ireland's Padraig Harrington.
 
The courses we play in Europe definitely require more flair, and thats the last thing you want in a U.S. Open. You want to be sort of like a machine, just hit it down the fairway, hit it on the green.
 
The golf courses we play in Europe, the type of pin positions we play, the weather we playasks for a little bit more imagination.
 
You want to be the most boring golfer around this week.
 
Harrington, Europes top player at seventh in the Official World Golf Ranking, may be Europes best bet to be the most mundane man this week and break the 32-year drought. He tied for eighth a year ago at Bethpage, and tied for fifth in 2000 at Pebble.
 
I enjoy it because its different, he said of U.S. Open set-ups. Its great to see if you can stay focused and disciplined and not make mental errors over four days. I think its something that does suit me.
 
In all, he has five top-10 finishes in major championships. He also tied for second in this years Players Championship; though, he missed the cut in the Masters Tournament with rounds of 77-73.
 
The 32-year-old Dubliner, who is currently second on the European Tours Order of Merit (money list), thanks to a pair of victories, has spent the last two weeks in the States in preparation for the seasons second major championship.
 
Its been good that I played the last couple of weeks ' a certain amount of climatization, Harrington said, adding that he picked up on a few quirks in his swing that he probably wouldnt have noticed had he been practicing at home.
 
Ive highlighted a few areas of my game that I would certainly like to work on for this week, he said. Whether or not I get that done between now and the start of play, I dont know. But its (playing in the U.S.) has been a good experiment so far.
 
He tied for 13th in both the Memorial and the FBR Capital Open. Because last weeks event spilled over into Monday, due to a wash-out Saturday, Harrington is one of nearly 40 players who arrived on site late. Not that he believes it will affect his performance.
 
I needed a day off, so whether I had Saturday off or Monday, it didnt really bother me, he said. The goal for the next couple of days is to do a little bit of practice, but not go overboard.
 
Harrington has never lacked for a work ethic; thats his strong point. Confidence, however, is another issue. It seems to be that department in which he most needs to improve.
 
I need a lot of things to go right for me in order to be a winner here this week, he apprehensively answered when asked if he was ready to win a major. Im prepared if that happens to go with it ' am I ready? If I get the chance (pause), yeah, Im ready.
 
Not the most convincing response, but one coming from Europe's odds-on favorite to be the last man standing come Sunday night.
 
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