Padraig Harrington uses Renaissance Club course knowledge to good effect
The three-time major winner followed an opening 67 with a 66 at The Renaissance Club to have the leader in his sights at the halfway stage in the $9 million Rolex Series event.
It’s been a pleasing week’s work so far for Harrington, who has been involved in a consultancy capacity as the American owners keep trying to improve the test provided by the Tom Doak-designed course.
“I think I know the course. I’ve been over a few times and examined it,” said Harrington. “We’ve played it for a few years, so we are familiar with it.
“As regards the changes, I think I’ve learned more from the process than the other way round. It is interesting trying to change things in Scotland. The grass doesn’t grow quickly.
“But we’ve made some nice changes, like on the first hole. We’ve seen the 18th hole go from being one of the easiest 18ths on the PGA Tour to being the toughest last year. With zero changes to the hole. That’s links golf.”
Some people would rather see the event staged at somewhere like Gullane, but Harrington insists The Renaissance Course is far better than uninformed people think.
“(PGA Tour player) Charley Hoffman summed it up best,” said the Irishman. “He said that if this was a 100-year old course, no one would have an opinion on it. “Everyone does though, because it is a new course. There is always going to be a bunker you look at and wonder why it is there. Then the next day you can’t reach the thing. It’s always interesting.
“My favourite change is No 2, where we put the little moguls in the rough. It used to be a bale-out. Now you have no idea what lie you might get. That’s the best change. It’s so subtle but can make a big difference.”
On his second-round effort, Harrington said: “I played nice and steady and created plenty of chances. There really wasn’t much drama.”