With his troublesome wrist injury, causing serious doubts, as to whether he would be able to defend his title, few pundits backed Padraig Harrington, to win the 2008 Open.
But after two battling rounds, the Irishman, is only three shots off the lead. What has been so impressive about Harrington, is not so much his shot-making. But more his attitude. He has defended his Open crown, with an obvious sense of pride.
As if he recognises his place in history. Has total respect for the greats who have gone before him. Wants to represent, the best of what they stand for. Understands the responsibilities of being Open Champion.
And that this Birkdale Open, is his chance, to demonstrate the honour he feels, about being part of this select group of players. It’s a champions attitude. And as the wind blows of the Lancashire coast over the week-end, it’s an attitude, that will be worth its weight in gold.
For when an Open Champion, in contention for an Open Championship, thinks and acts like an Open Champion, then it will take a very good player indeed, to beat them. Padraig Harrington, to date, has done what the R&A have asked of him. He has been a defending Open Champion.