Brilliant Harrington Wins USPGA

Published 11/08/2008 00:24:56

Padraig Harrington claimed his third major at Oakland HIlls after a magnificent round of 66. Harrington's round was characterised by rock solid putting under pressure and a brilliant recovery for par at 18. Harrington must be a certainty for player of the year after coming from behind to win with a seemingly effortless performance.


"I think I was willing them into the hole at that stage, you just take it on, you've got to give it a go"


"I wasn't too sure about my game at all, I could only be hopeful. The more I got into it, the better I played. I stuck in there and holed the putts at the right time"


So sure was Harrington of his victory, he even kissed the trophy after his amazing par on 18 despite Ben Curtis still being out on the course. Harrington is now halfway to a grand slam of his own, the Irishman has taken full advantage of the absence of Tiger Woods.


Amazingly, Harrington was three shots behind Garcia with nine holes to play, yet finished two shots ahead. Harrington becomes the first European since 1930 to win the USPGA Championship.


"If a couple of things had gone differently, we would have been talking differently," said Garcia. "But they went Padraig's way, not mine."


Spaniard Sergio Garcia will feel hard done by after leading for much of the day and now must face up to the reality of another missed opportunity at a major championship. Garcia hit into the water on 16. He had previously hit the flagstick on 15, an echo of the bad luck he felt he got at Carnoustie for last year's Open Championship.


American Ben Curtis finished further back on one under after carding a round of 68. Curtis was tied for the lead but hit several errant shots in his final holes. He described Harrington's dominance as "Tiger-like". One consolation for Curtis is he is now assured of seventh spot going into next months tournament.


Overnight leader JB Holmes carded a disastrous 81 to finish on ten over. The American may have played his way out of a Ryder Cup place.


World number two Phil Mickelson finished tied for seventh on four over for the championship after a round that promised much with early birdies, but eventually fizzled out. Harrington can realistically make a claim for world number two after back to back victories.


Henrik Stenson (68) and Camilo Villegas (68) ended on one over, Steve Flesch (69) and Henrik Stenson on two over and Phil Mickelson (70) and Andres Romero (72) on four over.Justin Rose (71) and Alastair Forsyth (70) are among those five over.


Final Leaderboard


1 Harrington Ire 66 -3 18
2 Garcia Spa 68 -1 18
2 Curtis US 71
-1 17
4 Villegas Col 68 +1 18
4 Stenson Swe 72
+2 17
6 Flesch US 69 +2 18
7 Mickelson US 70 +4 18
7 Romero Arg 72 +4 18
9 Forsyth Sco 70 +5 18
9 Wi Kor 74 +5 18
9 Rose Eng 71 +5 18
9 JM Singh Ind 73 +5 18
13 Baddeley Aus 73 +6 18
13 Duke US 71 +6 18
15 Appleby Aus 72 +7 18
15 Toms US 74 +7 18
15 McDowell NI 73 +7 18
15 Casey Eng 69 +7 18
15 Marksaeng Tha 73 +7 18
20 Gay US 72 +8 18




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