Padraig Harrington upbeat after Firestone meltdown

By Associated PressAugust 9, 2009, 4:00 pm
WGC-Bridgestone - 125wAKRON, Ohio ' Fittingly, Padraig Harrington had his back to Firestone Country Club as he walked to the scorers trailer. A smile creased his face as he saw his two kids.
 
Give me a hug, he said as he lifted first Ciaran and then Patrick. I need a hug.
 
Boy, did he.
 
Harrington had said he was looking forward to facing off with Tiger Woods. But then a dreadful 16th hole ' Arnold Palmer dubbed it The Monster for good reason ' finished him. The Irishmans triple-bogey 8 on the 630-yard hole sabotaged any shot he had of keeping up, let alone staying ahead.
 
Until 16, it was just a great battle, Woods said.
 
Woods, who came into the hole down by a stroke, drilled a moon-shot of an 8 iron that ended up a foot from the hole for a birdie. Just like that, a four-shot swing meant Woods was well on his way to his seventh victory at the Bridgestone Invitational.
 
One hole, Caroline Harrington said, shaking her head at the thought of her husbands late fall.
 
Tour officials had put the twosome on the clock several holes earlier. Harrington later said he felt the pressure to speed things up, but didnt use that as an excuse ' although he twice said he rushed shots at the 16th.
 
I think being on the clock influenced him, Woods said. By rushing like he had to that forced him to make a couple mistakes.
 
Harrington had the tee and drove into the right rough.
 
If youre going for the green in two, youve got to hit it right down the right-hand side, Harrington said. I wasnt unhappy to have missed the fairway right. Its not the end of the world.
 
Needing to just punch a 5-iron that would run down within 80 or 90 yards of the small green, fronted by a large lake, he pulled the shot and it ended up on the slope of a bunker. From there he hit his approach over the green into more deep rough.
 
While all of that was taking place, Woods had found the left rough. He hit back to the fairway, leaving himself 178 yards that he easily covered with the 8-iron.
 
It was a superb golf shot, a phenomenal shot, Harrington said. I struggled to hit that green with a lob wedge, so it was pretty impressive. Yeah, it was a great shot, but I was having my own troubles at that stage.
 
Woods waited while Harrington struggled, hitting seven consecutive shots.
 
From behind the green, Harringtons flop shot from a downhill lie behind the green came out hot and rolled all the way past the pin and into the lake in front of the green. The gallery, crammed into the grandstands and five-deep behind the ropes at the courses signature hole, groaned in unison.
 
I had an awkward fourth shot, Harrington said. I had to go after it and probably rushed it a bit as well.
 
That was the end of that.
 
Harrington walked all the way back to the middle of the fairway and again chipped over the green, then chopped the ball out and hit the putt for his snowman.
 
I took 6 and 8 the last two days (there), so I certainly think its a bit of a monster, Harrington said.
 
He swore that the 16th wouldnt stick in his mind.
 
You learn from these things, he said. I dont see it being a big issue. Ive got the PGA next week. So, at the end of the day, when I start hitting shots tomorrow, today will be forgotten about.
 
Harrington took steps to forget it immediately.
 
After the round, he turned to Woods and said, Well do battle many times again.
 
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  • Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

    Getty Images

    Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

    The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

    The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

    Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

    A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

    Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.