Padraig Harrington likes his chances of contending for his third British Open title in six seasons this week at the British Open, especially if Royal Lytham continues to be drenched by rain.
Harrington's major titles came at the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie and the 2008 Open at Royal Birkdale, becoming the first European since James Braid in 1906 to defend an Open title, and the 2008 PGA Championship.
The 40-year-old Irishman has not won any title since taking the Asian Tour's 2010 Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia, but he shared eighth this year at the Masters and finished a career-best fourth at the US Open last month.
"I suppose it does no harm," Harrington said when asked about his confidence after solid showings in the majors. "It's nice being in contention; so showing decent form coming in.
"I'm in good form and I'm in a good enough place that it's about managing where my head is at going into this tournament. That's what you want when you're going into a major. You don't want to be here searching for your putting stroke or your swing."
While forecasts call for weekend clearing after days of showers, Harrington would not mind a round or two of wet conditions when he tees off Thursday with European amateur champion Manuel Trappel of Austria and American Rickie Fowler.
"I would like some of the golf to be tough, some of the conditions," he said. "If you have 72 holes of a rainy tournament, it's nearly last man standing and that's really difficult for everybody.
"I would like to see certainly 18 holes, if not 36 holes, of difficult conditions because that will cut enough of the field out, and hopefully I won't be one of those."
The second of Harrington's back-to-back major titles in 2008 ignited an ongoing run of 15 different majors in a row, the past nine of them first-time major winners and the past three of those being Americans.
And none of them were won by Tiger Woods, the 14-time major champion whose last major title came at the 2008 US Open.
"I think we were spoiled with Tiger winning 14 majors in 15 years," said Harrington. "People began to think that was predictable...Probably not going to happen again with so many guys coming on with such a good game.
"Dominating, it's a hard thing to do, just too many good players out there now, too many guys with a good chance of winning that it's hard for one player to be able to win as prolifically as Tiger did."
Harrington sees nearly one-third of the field of 157 in with a chance to make a run at victory, and not all of them are familiar names.
"You're probably looking at 50 players in this field that if they hit form this week, they feel they can carry on," Harrington said.
"Plenty of guys that can get into the lead – regular people might not even know their names and yet they're quite happy to keep charging and not back out – which is why you're seeing a greater variety of players winning."
There were 15 different major winners in a row from Nick Price's 1994 PGA Championship triumph to Lee Janzen's 1998 US Open title and from Wayne Grady's 1990 PGA Championship victory through the 1994 US Open crown won by Ernie Els.
Should a 16th different major champion in a row hoist the Claret Jug on Sunday, it would be the longest such run since a streak of 18 ended after 1987.
"Golfers are evolving," Harrington said. "That feeling of patience and the feeling of a tournament being like a marathon has gone away. It tends to be a sprint from Thursday morning in a regular tournament.
"You're seeing that is gradually seeping into the majors. Guys just turn up – 'If it's my week, I can beat anybody.' It's a much different way of playing. There was definitely an element 15 years ago of sticking and staying in."