Harrington ends seven-year wait
Padraig Harrington ended a more than six-year title draught in Europe and the US with a play-off win at the Honda Classic on Monday.
The Irishman looked to have blown his chances when he surrendered a one-shot lead at the 17th with a double-bogey, but he made a clutch 16-footer for birdie at the last to force his way into a play-off with American Daniel Berger, who had earlier set the clubhouse target of six under par.
After both men parred the first play-off hole, Berger promptly hit his tee shot into the water on the second.
He would have to settle for a par at the long hole, while two superb shots set up an eagle opportunity for Harrington.
The three-time major champion made no mistake with the eagle putt to earn his second Honda Classic title, his first having come way back in 2005.
This victory is arguably way more significant for Harrington, however. Aside from two victories on the Asian Tour, he has been winless on both sides of the Atlantic since his major triumph at the 2008 PGA Championship.
Harrington consistently refused to admit his winning days were behind him and always vowed he would keep fighting.
That fighting spirit paid off in spades as he bagged the trophy and the $1,098,000 first prize on Monday.
“Hopefully this isn’t an isolated win,” he told Sky Sports 4. “I really do believe in myself. I think I’ve found that mental edge that I’ve been lacking the last number of years.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to stick with that going forward and be consistently contending because I know if I am contending I can win.”
He added: “When I get in contention I can hit the shots. The problem has been actually when I’m starting the week, middle of the road shots, easy shots, I’m just not hitting them.
“When I’ve got tough shots I can hit them.”
Storms at PGA National washed out play on Saturday, leading to the delayed finish at PGA National.
Earlier, Harrington had done superbly to take the lead after carding four consecutive birdies from the 11th – even as overnight leaders Paul Casey and Ian Poulter ruined their chances with a series of poor shots.
Harrington’s front nine was nothing to cheer about, featuring a bogey and a double bogey, but his birdie blitz after the turn had set up the unlikely victory.
He looked to have blown it with his second double bogey of the day, but the last-gasp birdie gave him an even-par 70 and a chance in the play-off.
The victory also hands Harrington a place at the Masters next month and sees his world ranking jump from 297 to 82.
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