• European Tour

Harrington happy to get final links tune-up

ESPN staff
July 10, 2012 « De Jong wants Gladbach not Newcastle | Chartbeat test »
Padraig Harrington is glad to get another chance to play a links course © PA Photos
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Two-time Open champion Padraig Harrington believes the Scottish Open is now the ideal warm-up event for the Open Championship.

The Irishman, who won the fabled Claret Jug in 2007 and 2008, used to regularly skip Scotland's national tournament when it was held at the inland course at Loch Lomond, but believes the recent move to a more traditional links-style layout, Castle Stuart, now makes it a perfect venue to prepare for the third major of the year.

"I was a big advocate [of moving to a links course] when the Scottish Open was at Loch Lomond," said Harrington. "I said, 'Look, I want to play links golf that week. If you move it to a links golf course, I'll be there'.

"They have done that, and I couldn't see myself not playing in the Scottish Open now because it's on a links.

"It's ideal. Having a competitive tournament the week before shows up in the little nuances in your game that need to be tightened up. Having it on a links golf course gives you ideal practice."

World No. 1 Luke Donald won on the first visit to Castle Stuart last year, while Phil Mickelson belatedly added the event to his schedule at the weekend as he searches for form ahead of Royal Lytham & St Annes next week.

One former champion who will not be teeing it up in Blackpool is Mark O'Meara, however, after the 1998 champion withdrew from the major on Tuesday due to injury.

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