Sunday, August 10, 2008

90th PGA Championship, Harrington.

PGA Championship - Final Round

Crucial late round putting gave Padraig Harrington his second major trophy in as many starts. His victory in the 90th PGA Championship placed him halfway to the coveted "Paddy Slam". Harrington's second consecutive 66 gave him a two shot victory over a game Sergio Garcia and early 4th round leader Ben Curtis. Harrington became the 1st European winner of the PGA since Tommy Armour in 1930. Camilo Villegas finished strong and tied for 4th with a faltering Henrik Stenson. Steve Flesch's 69 gave him solo 6th. Phil Mickelson wilted to a tie for 7th with Andres Romero. Only 3 players finished under par at the notoriously tough Oakland Hills. Harrington at -3 and Garcia and Curtis at -1.

It was a three way battle most of the day in cool and blustery conditions. Garcia had the lead at the turn with Curtis and Harrington in close pursuit. With Garcia's water logged bogey on the 16th hole, Harrington nailed his birdie putt to start a streak of three straight pressure putts that ultimately sealed it for him. A birdie on the par three 17th gave him the lead when Garcia missed from about 4 feet. A cool, calm 15 footer on 18 cemented his win. Curtis hung around on the back nine , but never found the crucial birdie needed to share the lead. Strangely Harrington, in the view from the TV camera, appeared not to blink , even once, on the back nine. That steely determination is precisely what been lacking from competitors in the Tiger era. Maybe a challenge has been raised for next April in Augusta. Padraig will enter that tournament with a two major winning streak. Stay tuned.

Congratulations on hoisting the Wanamaker Trophy Padraig. He's now won 3 of the last 6 majors. I'll go out on a limb and predict the pints will be flowing in Dublin tonight.

Til' next,

5 comments:

  1. You have got to feel for Sergio Garcia. It is about time he had a major win under his belt but each time he entertains such thoughts that Irishman comes along to steal his thunder. This is the second year running that Padraig Harrington has snatched the title away from him. While Harrington might have won on both occasions, the 2007 Open and this year’s PGA Championship the fact of the matter is that in both the majors Sergio threw it away towards the end. I guess his time will come. Till then he will have to patiently bid his time.

    But what about Paddy Harrington. At five over after two rounds no one in their wildest dreams would have thought Harrington would have won back to back majors. I remember the PGA website after the second round’s action had a section where the writer openly wondered whether Paddy had a chance after finding himself miles away from J.B. Holmes on the leaderboard. The Irishman stepped up to the plate in style and sealed his second straight major.

    Phil Mickelson has some serious issues to contemplate. There exists a serious threat of him being dethroned as the best challenger to Tiger Woods. About time he won some big tournaments in Tiger’s absence. Of course once Tiger’s back the competition will again worry about finishing second.

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  2. Thanks for the visit.

    Sergio didn't make the putts down the stretch. Padraig did. The one on 17 killed him. Champions make the putts that matter.

    Phil's a mess. Has been since '06 Open. I don't care what the ranking computers or pundits say. Right now I'd say Harrington is #2 in the world and Woods' top challenger.

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  3. The fact is when it came down to it Sergio choked. It's too bad because I've been praying for him to win a major.

    http://www.golf.net

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  4. You're right, he choked, no more, no less. I'm fairly certain he'll capture a major, just not this time.

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