Pod: ‘We’ll battle many more times’

Padraig Harrington lost Sunday’s head-to-head battle with Tiger Woods, but has promised many more.

Padraig Harrington lost his head-to-head battle with Tiger Woods at Firestone Country Club on Sunday, but has promised the world number one that the two “will do battle many times again”.
Ireland’s three-time major winner was involved in an epic encounter with Woods in the final group at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Ohio on Sunday when he first lost a three-shot overnight lead, hit back to regain it only toi lose it again at the disastrous 16th hole where, finally, he decisively handed Woods his fifth win of the year and the 70th of his PGA Tour career.
Many others have crumbled in a final group alongside the world number one, but Harrington, the reigning US PGA champion, held his nerve as Woods completed his front nine in 30 shots, five under par, to take a two-shot lead at the turn without the Irishman dropping a shot.
Harrington even clawed his way back and was one shot to the good with just three holes to play before he found the water on the way to a triple bogey at 16 having been put on the clock by referee John Paramor.
“I’ve done it a couple of times before,” Harrington said. “It wasn’t a question of me managing myself out there today. I did do that nicely.
“But as I said, you know, I’d be in the same sort of situation whether I was coming up against anybody.
“I’ve got to work hard to play my game, and yeah, I did it nicely today.
“Tiger did play particularly well, that’s for sure.
“As I said, I said to him afterwards, ‘We’ll do battle many times again’.”
Woods could not argue with Harrington, and having criticised Paramor for getting “in the way of a great battle” by putting their group on the clock, he added: “You know, Paddy and I will definitely do it again.”
Harrington now heads to Chaska, Minnesota, to prepare for the defence of his US PGA title at Hazeltine National, where he has been paired with Woods and Rich Beem for the first two rounds, starting on Thursday.
He insisted last night that his horror hole, Firestone’s 16th, was already behind him and would not be travelling with him to Hazeltine.
“I think it’s pretty much out of my system now. You know, I’ll probably be a better player because of it. So that’s a good thing. You learn from these things,” he said.
“I don’t see it being an issue. I’ve got the PGA next week, bigger things, well, other things ahead of me.
“So at the end of the day, when I start hitting shots tomorrow, today will be forgotten about. I’ll certainly not be too happy going to bed tonight, I’ll be thinking about it. But when I get up and start working tomorrow, it will be all in the back of my mind.”