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Errant putter now starting to behave

Padraig Harrington has not won a regular tour event since landing the 2008 US PGA Championship.

Padraig Harrington has not won a regular tour event since landing the 2008 US PGA Championship.

LYTHAM ST ANNES - Triple major champion Padraig Harrington is slowly emerging from the doldrums and for that his putter must take most of the credit, he said on Tuesday.

The Irishman has not won a regular tour event since landing the 2008 US PGA Championship but his spirits have soared in recent weeks thanks to a share of eighth place at the US Masters and a tie for fourth in the US Open.

"I've been putting better, that's essentially it," Harrington told reporters as he continued his preparations for this week's 141st British Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

"I'm playing better but the putting really does help. I would have said I played well over the last couple of years too, at times, but I certainly didn't putt very well."

Harrington, who won the Open in 2007 and 2008, said he previously tended to over-hit the ball on the greens.

"I'm particularly trying to improve my ability to hole 15 footers and I've done a lot of practice on them," he explained.

"I used to have a 15 foot putting stroke for a four foot putt and I didn't realise that."

Harrington said he was relieved to discover the problem on the greens was physical rather than mental.

"I had no idea that (overhitting) is what I was doing but that's what it turned out and it's helped me a lot," he added.

Harrington, the first player from Ireland to win the Open in 60 years, has also been experimenting by taking a spirit level on to the putting surfaces in practice at Lytham.