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Harrington cards 65, will lean on experience Monday

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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Padraig Harrington, among the game’s most thoughtful and well-spoken players, had gone more than six years since his last PGA Tour victory when he broke through earlier this season in a playoff at the Honda Classic.

It would be a tough run for any player, but even more so for a three-time major champion. Yet on Saturday, following a flawless 65 at the Open Championship, the Irishman took a predictably insightful approach to a wildly unpredictable game.

“It's more important to be consistent . . . well, not even consistent, who cares about consistent, it's more important to be erratic and win,” he said.

Harrington again has that chance to win after moving to 10 under, just two strokes off the lead when he completed his round at St. Andrews, thanks largely to an opening nine of 32.

It’s a familiar position for the two-time Open winner, who won the claret jug starting six strokes back in the final round in 2007 at Carnoustie and two back a year later at Royal Birkdale.

It’s the kind of experience few atop the leaderboard enjoy and something Harrington considers an advantage heading into Monday’s finale.

“I'll be using it to help myself for sure, having done it twice before,” he said. “It's good, positive feedback and I'll be telling myself as I'm coming home tomorrow.”