British coach Pete Cowen believes he can help his latest pupil Padraig Harrington put his recent woes behind him and return to the top of the game.
Three-time major winner Harrington has plummeted down the world rankings to 78th, from a high of third in 2008.
He turned to Cowen in August, hoping the Englishman could help him improve his swing and once-potent short game.
“With time, he’s now capable of getting back to being the best short-game player in the world,” said Cowen.
In July, Harrington parted company with his coach of 13 years, Bob Torrance – father of former Ryder Cup captain Sam – after hitting a new low by missing the cut at the Open and Irish Open.
PADRAIG HARRINGTON SELECTED 2011 RESULTS
- Masters: 75th (missed cut)
- US Open: 45th
- Scottish Open: 14th
- The Open: 72nd (missed cut)
- Irish Open: 107th (missed cut)
- Bridgestone Invitational: 59th
- US PGA Championship: 64th
- Dunhill Links Championship: 8th
This followed an alarming slump in form since winning the last of his majors, the 2008 US PGA Championship, which resulted in the Dubliner seeking out the advice of Cowen, whose many pupils include world number two Lee Westwood.
Harrington has already shown signs of improvement with an eighth-place finish at the Dunhill Links Championship two weeks ago, which he will be hoping to follow up with a strong showing at this week’s Portugal Masters.
“Padraig came and asked me at the Bridgestone [tournament] if I would give an opinion on his swing and what I thought might improve it,” said Cowen.
“He thought he was spending far too much time on his long game, to the detriment of his short game. Padraig won two majors in 2008 with the best short game in the world. He felt as though he’d neglected that and when you looked at the stats it proved it. He’d become almost non-competitive.