Padraig Harrington ends seven-year wait with Honda victory
Padraig Harrington ended a seven-year title wait on the two main tours when he won the Honda Classic in a playoff with American rookie Daniel Berger following a thrilling final round on Monday.
Florida: Padraig Harrington ended a seven-year title drought on the two main tours when he won the Honda Classic in a playoff with American rookie Daniel Berger after a thrilling finish on Monday.
The victory in the rain-disrupted tournament was sweet for the 43-year-old Irishman, a triple major winner who has plummeted down the rankings after several seasons of struggle and entered the tournament ranked 297th in the world.
Harrington`s last win on either the PGA Tour or European Tour came at the 2008 U.S. PGA Championship, although he ended last year with a December victory on the Asian Tour at the Indonesia Open.
Both players finished on six under par, but Berger found water on the second playoff hole, the par-three 17th, and Harrington two-putted from three feet after having produced an exquisite iron shot off the tee.
The twice former British Open champion would not have needed a playoff had he taken care of that hole during regulation.
Leading the event on the 17th tee, Harrington sliced his tee shot into the water and made a double-bogey which left him a stroke behind Berger who had been nine off the pace at the start of the round.
Harrington responded in typically gritty fashion, setting up the playoff by sinking a superb 15-foot birdie putt at the 18th.
"Hopefully this isn`t an isolated win," he said. "I think I have found that mental edge I had been missing and hopefully I can be consistently contending," he said.
It was a deeply disappointing Monday though for Britain`s Ian Poulter who was the overnight joint leader with compatriot Paul Casey.
Poulter shot a four-over 74, imploding with a double-bogey on the 11th and a triple-bogey on the par-four 14th -- both times paying the price for finding water.
"There`s lots of plusses with how I`ve played all week, but there`s nothing like handing the golf tournament away. It makes you feel pretty sick," said Poulter.
Casey shot 68 finishing tied for third alongside Poulter and Scotland`s Russell Knox while a strong British showing included Welshman Jamie Donaldson who finished sixth after a final round 66.
Another Englishman, Luke Donald finished tied for seventh along with Americans Jim Herman, Jeff Overton and Patrick Reed, who was in contention before a disastrous end to his round with a double-bogey on the 15th followed by bogeys on the next two holes.