- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
ROYAL TEE: His driver remains a bit of a wild card, especially at a course with so many out-of-bounds stakes, but his magic around the greens can keep him in it.
5 PADRAIG HARRINGTON
WORLD RANK: 18th WORLDWIDE WINS: 11
The clock is ticking for Paddy. I still think he has a major in him, but he's 34 and it's time for him to step up. He's had a Tom Lehman kind of career--he has a knack for getting close, but his runner-up finishes in Europe (21) far outnumber his victories (nine). He's playing well, coming off a fifth at the U.S. Open and a second at the Booz Allen. He keeps the ball in play and over the last four years has probably been on the leader board during majors more than any other European. He has a blue-collar game. Everything is contrived--his swing is labored, his putting stroke is unorthodox, and his stance makes him look like a human tripod. What matters, though, is that it all works.
ROYAL TEE: Because Harrington missed last year's Open due to the death of his father, winning a British would mean more to him than a victory at any other major.
WORLD RANK: 3rd WORLDWIDE WINS: 51
Even though he's had nine top 10 finishes this year, including a win at Westchester, it seems as if Vijay has been in a mild slump. I guess that's because he had piled up so many wins (14) during the previous three years. He's had lapses on the greens, but his putting isn't what's holding him back--would you believe he ranks 12th in the Tour's putting stats? I don't. If he had putted that well over the last three years, he might have 10 more wins. The real issue is that he's been driving it like crap. He's spraying it both ways off the tee, and no Tour player can live with that. You have to at least limit your misses to one side or the other. I know he recently switched back to his old reliable Cleveland Comp driver to fix the problem.
ROYAL TEE: I don't see the Fijian staying in a driving slump for any length of time. You can pretty much count on him to finish in the top 10.