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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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

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    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

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    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.