Slowly but surely Padraig Harrington has been rediscovering his form – and this could be the week he finally rediscovers how to win.
The Irishman is currently out at 20/1 to win the Open Championship for a third time and, for the first time in a long while, that looks like an incredibly tempting punt.
The three-times major winner has struggled for consistency in recent years but looks to have finally turned a corner this season and one of the most practice-obsessed players in the game is back where he spent so much of the last decade – on the front of the leaderboard.
There can be no denying that he’s struggled in recent seasons – he’s without a win since 2010 – but his decision to ditch long-term coach Bob Torrance last summer looks to be paying off.
Harrington has performed admirably in the majors this year, finishing eighth at the Masters and then ending up in fourth position at the US Open on a course as every bit as demanding as Royal Lytham promises to be.
His links form has also been approaching its best, with a seventh place finish at the Irish Open backed-up by finishing at the top end of the leaderboard in last week’s Scottish Open.
He’s shown he has the mental game to compete on a tough Open layout, with his last win in the major coming at Birkdale in 2008, when his final score of 283 (three-over) was enough to see him claim the Claret Jug.
Even if he isn’t able to convert his consistency to a victory, then – based on his performances in the majors this year – an each-way punt at 20/1 looks an extremely tempting proposition.