Padraig Harrington will be drinking his Guinness from the Claret Jug for another year. His superb final round 69 in 40+ mph winds was a remarkable feat and sealed his legacy with golf's oldest major. A 220 yd. second shot five wood to three feet on the 17th hole sealed the deal. He made his eagle putt and proceeded to par 18 as a formality. Ian Poulter's equally impressive 69 gave him solo 2nd place, four shots behind Harrington. Three consecutive bogeys on the front had made for a horse race, but Harrington quieted all contenders with a back nine 32.
Overnight leader Greg Norman bogeyed 4 of his first 6 holes to quickly give back the two shot advantage that he began the day with. He had trouble finding fairways and the putter was missing the fairy dust from the first three rounds. Nevertheless he was in the hunt on the back nine, but another string of bogeys led to a back nine 39 and the end of his miracle run. Still, he finished tied for 3rd with Henrik Stenson and earned an invite back to the Masters in 2009. If I'd told you before the first ball was struck on Thursday that Greg Norman would finish 3rd, would you have believed me? Amateur Chris Wood won the Silver Medal for low amateur when he shot a superb 72 that left him tied with Jim Furyk for 5th place. Furyk was the highest American finisher.
So, what's to bring home from all of this? Well, Harrington's really, really good. Greg Norman had a dream week and obviously can still play, if he chooses. The golf course was virtually unplayable at times during the championship. Still, I'm not sure what I would have done in the official's places. Phil Mickelson can't win on links with weather. You can't beat history and tradition with a sport like golf. I can't wait for Turnberry.
*Correction.....Harrington's 17th hole 5 wood second shot was from 249 yards.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Posted by Average Golfer at 2:34 PM