Harrington tips Tiger to struggle with Rory as Barclays duel looms
Harrington believes McIlroy can outshine the rest if he maintains superb form.
Ireland’s three-time major champion Padraig Harrington believe the rest of the golfing world – including Tiger Woods – cannot cope with Rory McIlroy when the new world number one performs like he did at Kiawah Island over the weekend.
The Dubliner insists that McIlroy’s ‘A-game’ is now too good for the rest, just as Woods’ was in his pomp. Harrington went on to suggest that Woods’ quest for a 15th major will be a struggle with McIlroy around.
The pair are now clear at the top of the US Money list rankings and appear to set to battle it out for that honour as the season hurtles towards its conclusion.
Woods, 5/4 to top the 2012 US Money List with Ladbrokes, holds a slender advantage over McIlroy (6/4) following the Irishman’s runaway success in the USPGA Championship.
Jason Dufner’s excellent form this season sees him at 10/1, having secured his spot on Davis Love’s US Ryder Cup team, and is followed in the Money List market by team-mates Zach Johnson (16/1), Bubba Watson (20/1) and Matt Kuchar (33/1).
With Woods and McIlroy clear at one and two in the rankings, they are now destined to play the opening two rounds together at the first FedExCup Playoffs event, The Barclays in New York from August 23. That proposition is sure to whet the appetite of golf fans, but Harrington has issued a clear warning to Woods in relation to the apparent heir to his throne.
“Rory’s proving that when he plays well, he plays like Tiger when he played well,” Harrington said in the wake of the PGA Championship.
“When Tiger turned up and brought his A game, the rest of us struggled to compete. Even if he didn’t have his A game, and we did a thing wrong, we couldn’t compete with that. Rory is showing that with his A game, everybody else is going to struggle to compete with him.”
Harrington believes Woods must rediscover the form that led him to complete dominance and a haul of 14 major wins if he is to go head-to-head with McIlroy at future majors.
“He’s not going to beat him unless he has a big weekend. If Rory is playing as well as he is, Tiger’s not going to pick a Major off unless he’s got his A game out there,” he added.
Harrington reiterated his belief that McIlroy has the talent and composure to carve a place in history for himself by going on to challenge the record 18 major wins of legendary Jack Nicklaus.
“I said two years ago, when he lost at the Masters, that he could challenge Jack’s record. And now he’s won one each of the last two years,” Harrington added.