Rolex Series

Pádraig Harrington delighted with sensational start to 2023 season

Pádraig Harrington was delighted to start his 2023 campaign with a bang in Abu Dhabi last week but admitted he has "a few regrets" after coming up just short in his quest to become the oldest winner in DP World Tour history.

The 51-year-old heads into the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the back of a memorable weekend, having stormed into contention at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with rounds of 64 and 67 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

The Irishman was firmly in the hunt for the trophy on the back nine on Sunday but his 16-under-par total ended up being two shots shy of the winning score posted by France's Victor Perez, and he had to settle for fourth spot.

Three-time Major Champion Harrington proved he is still more than capable of contending on the biggest stages as he did battle with some of the world's best players in Abu Dhabi.

And Harrington insists he is not too "mentally drained" as he looks forward to giving it another go when the Rolex Series continues at Emirates Golf Club this week.

He said: "I feel good. 

"I felt good about my game at the end of last year, so it was nice to start off maybe a little quicker than I expected.

"Normally I wouldn't be that good the first week out.


"It was good to be in contention. A genuine chance, and certainly I'll look back at last week and have a few regrets.

"With some of the good stuff I'm playing on the PGA TOUR Champions, being in contention doesn't stress me as much, so I wasn't as mentally drained after last week.

"But the other side of that, when you get to my age, it's hard to get up for it on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. 

"I wouldn't be full of energy at this moment. It's a big, big golf course, and with this rain coming in, it's going to get even longer."

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