Harrington Beats Singh in Playoff

By Sports NetworkMarch 13, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 Honda ClassicPALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Padraig Harrington holed a 6-foot par putt on the second playoff hole and watched as Vijay Singh's short par effort lipped out to give the Irishman his first career victory on the PGA Tour at The Honda Classic on Sunday.
'Today was one of those days,' said Harrington, who earned $990,000 for the win. 'You have to be patient and you know it doesn't matter how much you practice, you have to get out and play.'
Vijay Singh
Vijay Singh reacts to his playoff loss to Padraig Harrington.
Harrington, one the elite players in the world who has come close to breaking through on the PGA Tour in years past, matched the course record on the Sunrise Course at Mirasol with a final-round 63 to take the lead in the clubhouse at 14-under-par 274. Singh followed soon after and rolled in a clutch par putt at the last to complete a round of 64.
'When I was making my run, especially when I started making all those birdies, I was thinking of 59,' said Harrington, who came from seven shots back to get into the playoff. 'I didn't think about winning the tournament.'
Joe Ogilvie was the third player to gain a spot in the playoff after his birdie try at the 72nd hole in regulation failed to find the bottom of the cup.
The trio returned to the difficult 18th to begin the extra session and Ogilvie virtually took himself out of the mix off the tee after his drive found a fairway bunker. Harrington followed and smacked his drive in the rough, while Singh hit a solid tee shot down the fairway.
Harrington's approach rolled up short of a greenside bunker. Ogilvie, with one foot in the sand, advanced his ball down the fairway before Singh dropped his second shot on the putting surface 13 feet from the hole.
Ogilvie missed the green with his third and his pitch ran past the flag. Harrington stayed alive after his third landed firmly within 5 feet of the hole. Singh then had a chance to secure his 26th career victory on the PGA Tour, but his birdie effort missed left.
'I hit a poor bunker shot, a poor third shot and a poor fourth shot,' Ogilvie said of the first playoff hole. 'That usually leads to bogey.'
Harrington then saved his par and the next time around found the fairway off the tee at the 18th, while Singh left his drive just to the right of Harrington's ball. Harrington hit another poor approach and watched his ball come up short and left of the green.
Singh followed suit and nestled his ball close to Harrington's. Harrington pitched his third within 6 feet and Singh calmly curled his shot well inside of 3 feet.
Harrington did his part and rolled in the par save, leaving Singh a short attempt to extend the playoff. The former No. 1 player in the world had a momentary lapse, however, and hung his head as his ball slid around the back of the hole.
'You can't miss putts like that in a playoff,' said Singh, who defeated Harrington in a playoff at the 2001 Malaysian Open on the European Tour. 'I shouldn't have missed that putt.'
Harrington was on fire early with a birdie at the first and three consecutive birdies starting at the par-4 fourth. He then played his tee shot to 12 feet for a birdie at the par-3 eighth to begin another impressive stretch.
The 33-year-old knocked his approach inside 7 feet for a birdie at the ninth and dropped his second shot within inches of the hole for a tap-in birdie at the par-4 10th. Harrington then drained a 6-foot putt for a birdie at the par-3 11th and sank another short putt for a birdie at the par-5 12th.
Harrington ran home a long birdie putt at the 13th to make it six in a row, but trouble was on the way. He missed the green en route to a bogey at the 14th and couldn't find the putting surface again for another bogey at the 15th.
'If I looked up and saw that I was three behind, I would have been down the last couple of holes,' said Harrington, who became the first Irishman to win on the PGA Tour. 'But knowing that I still had a chance of winning, it refocused me on the last couple of holes.'
He persisted, however, and tallied a birdie at the par-5 17th that was ultimately good enough to earn a spot in the playoff.
Singh birdied his first two holes, but gave a shot back at the par-3 third. He countered with a birdie at the fifth and an eagle at the par-5 sixth. At the par-3 eighth, Singh ran home a 25-footer to reach 11 under.
He added a birdie at the 10th and converted a 22-foot putt for a birdie at the par-5 12th. Singh held on down the stretch and two-putted for birdie at the 17th to join Harrington at minus-14.
Ogilvie, who finished second to Singh in New Orleans last year, picked up a pair of birdies on the front nine and a birdie at the 12th lifted him to 13 under.
The 30-year-old almost holed out his third shot at the par-5 17th, but he tapped in for birdie to move to 14 under. He had a chance to put the tournament away at the last, but was unable to convert.
Pat Perez finished alone in fourth place at 13-under-par 275 after a round of 70. David Toms shot a 67 to come in at 12-under-par 276.
Brett Wetterich and Geoff Ogilvy shared the lead heading into the final round, but both players experience disaster on the back nine Sunday. Wetterich triple bogeyed the par-4 13th on his way to a 73, while Ogilvy double bogeyed the last for a 73 of his own.
They were joined by Brad Faxon in a tie for sixth at 11-under-par 277.
Lucas Glover equaled the course record early in the day with a 63 to share ninth place at Jim Furyk at 10-under-par 278.
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    Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

    PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

    She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

    “I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

    Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

    “Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

    She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

    “I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

    Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

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    “Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

    She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

    “They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

    Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

    While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

    “Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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    Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

    PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

    In fact, she named her “Mona.”

    For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

    While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

    And that has her excited about this year.

    Well, that and having a healthy back again.

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    “I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

    Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    “Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

    Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

    She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

    Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

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    Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

    By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

    PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

    Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

    Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

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    Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

    Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

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    Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

    By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

    PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

    With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

    After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

    “I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

    It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

    Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

    “It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

    Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

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    Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

    “Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

    Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

    Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

    “It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

    Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

    “This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

    Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.