Pod out to end Europe's wait
Padraig Harrington feels, after a 21-year wait, it is high time a European won the Players Championship at Sawgrass.
Last Updated: 07/05/08 12:26pm
Padraig Harrington feels it is high time that Europe broke a title drought that has stretched back over two decades at the Players Championship.
Sandy Lyle was the last European to triumph at Sawgrass in 1987 at an event many still regard as the unofficial 'fifth major'.
A total of 21 Europeans will be in Florida this week to try and emulate Lyle's success, but Harrington is at a loss to explain the continent's poor record at the tournament.
"If there is a reason why Europeans haven't won since '87, I don't know," the Open champion told reporters on Tuesday.
"We must be due. I have a one in 21 chance if it's purely a numbers game - if we're due. If you want to get into that sort of thing yeah, but unfortunately the other 135 players this week are not going to consider that 21 Europeans deserve a chance to win."
However, Harrington is adamant that Europe's lack of success at Sawgrass does not weigh heavy on his own mind.
"From my own sense this week, I don't hold the burden that no European has won since Sandy Lyle," he continued.
"I'm an individual going out here trying to compete against the other guys.
"I like it here, if you stay patient, you'll always get a run, maybe a couple of times during the week you'll get nine holes where you'll play four or five under par."
Harrington's Ryder Cup team-mate Lee Westwood echoed those sentiments, claiming skill and patience rather than brute power will be the virtues rewarded this week.
"I think more than anything it is a thinkers course, so if you are good at plotting your way around and planning your way around a golf course, this is a great golf course for that sort of player," said Westwood, who currently sits atop the European Ryder Cup rankings.
"In Europe there's probably more of a premium on hitting fairways, which there will be this week. I think it's a good golf course when it can do that, give everybody a chance."