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Harrington is glad to have a chance. Winless since the PGA Championship last year, he was outside the top 125 to get into the playoffs until he finished second at the Bridgestone Invitational, then gave himself chances to win his next three starts.
Just like that, he is up to No. 7 in the standings, and still pushing hard.
"On one hand, I'm losing a little bit in terms of fatigue," Harrington said. "But I'm still motivated because I haven't won. If I had won over the last couple of weeks, I'd have a big dropoff. What's keeping me going is the fact that I haven't won. I'm pushing hard and I'm focused to do that, and in many ways, I'm on the edge in that sense. I could definitely see a win making me totally drop back off."
And if he were to win the BMW Championship? Would he lose his edge for the Tour Championship?
"If you've got a chance of winning it, there's enough motivation there," he said. "Ten million reasons to win that one."
Woods hasn't played this much since 2006, when he played six times over seven weeks. That included the World Match Play Championship, which lasted only one round, and the Ryder Cup, which can feel like two weeks.
He was winning those tournaments, sometimes with ease, compared with having to grind into contention and having it go wrong at the end. Woods had his back stretched after the third round at the Deutsche Bank because it was tight.
"I'm just playing a lot right now," he said.
In another sign that he is pacing himself, Woods didn't hit balls after any of his rounds last week. Just don't get the idea that he will sleepwalk through four days at Cog Hill, where he has won four times.
"Thursday through Sunday is all good," he said. "That's not a problem. Your adrenaline is up playing an event. You definitely get fired up for that, not a problem. It's getting out here and having long practice sessions and things like that. You start cutting back on that and just have a short burst, and make sure you get your rest."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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