Harrington takes tinkering to a whole new level

Padraig Harrington and cryotherapy seems about right.

The three-time major champion, who has been known to tinker with his golf swing excessively, disclosed at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions that he has a cryo tub in his garage in Dublin and used it extensively last month as he recovered from knee surgery.

"I do six minutes at minus 140 (degrees) because I'm used to it,'' said Harrington, 44, who is playing in this week's tournament in Hawaii for the first time. "That's a pretty long time. Most guys are at three minutes. Basically, when you're working out, it boosts your testosterone. That's what it does. And it helps your recovery from injuries.''

Harrington had a torn meniscus that required surgery five weeks ago. The injury kept him from playing golf at the end of the year, hence a nine-week break from competition. When he won on the PGA Tour in the past, he had always skipped the Hawaii event because of playing late into the year and wanting to start the next season on the European Tour.

He won the Honda Classic this past March in a playoff over Daniel Berger but struggled toward the end of the year with the knee problem, which he says is much improved -- thanks to the surgery and the cryo treatments.

Harrington said he did 20 sessions in the 12 days after his operation.

"It's like taking a cold bath,'' Harrington said. "You go into an ice bath, it will do the job just as nice. But I don't like an ice bath. I find the cold air quite easy on me. It goes from the inside outside, whereas an ice bath is on your skin. And I can go in there for six minutes and you couldn't see me take a cold shower, put it like that.''

The ultracold temperatures in the chamber are said to help you bounce back from workouts more quickly while also battling muscle and joint pain. There is increased blood flow and reduced inflammation as part of the process.

Harrington opened the tournament with a 3-under-par 70 on the Plantation course at Kapalua and in a tie for 12th.