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Final round: Please sir, may I have another?
Were you expecting it? Can you believe it? The new master of the majors seems to be Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who just won his second straight major -- the third in his career. Once again, Harrington battled Spain's fiery Sergio Garcia, and once again, the Irishman prevailed. The race is on for Player of the Year.
By T.J. Auclair, PGA.com Interactive Producer
BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Oakland Hills Country Club might be known as, "The Monster," but Ireland's Padraig Harrington wasn't about to be scared
or bullied in the 90th PGA Championship.
With an incredible 8-under mark over the final 36 holes thanks to matching 4-under-par 66s, Harrington posted a 3-under 277 total for a two-shot win over Sergio Garcia and Ben Curtis on Sunday for the Irishman's second major win in three weeks.
Interestingly, it seemed as though Harrington was ready to throw in the towel after a 4-over 74 in the second round put him at 5 over for the tournament.
"I went back and had a look at it and had a discussion with my trainer at home; it was possible that I was dehydrated," said Harrington about his lackluster start. "And that's what was the lack of coordination. So it gave me something to focus on. I focused on Friday evening and Saturday, and all through Saturday and Sunday in rehydrating myself. And at least whether that was the cause or not, whether it was it might have been tiredness, as well.
"But at least I had something tangible that I could actually pin it on and try and put some effort into it and gave me the belief that if I can get my hydration right, basically my coordination would come back," he continued. "And whether it was the answer or not, it certainly helped me focus on something, and that was the important part of it."
Was it ever.
When push came to shove over the final three holes at Oakland Hills on Sunday, a well-hydrated and inspired Harrington played them in 1 under, while Garcia and Curtis were 1 over. That was the difference.
Just when it was getting very interesting on the back nine, Garcia ran into another all-too-familiar major demise.
The Spaniard hit a picture-perfect approach shot to the 15th green that took one short bounce, hit the top of the cup and the pin before drifting 10 feet from the hole. Without hitting the pin, he should have had a short birdie putt. Instead, Garcia had to settle for a two-putt par.
|PGA TOUR Today recap|
|Harrington wins PGA Championship|
"Funny enough, I think that Peter Kostis told me it hit the pin and went in the hole and came out to about 10 feet," Garcia said. "So I went and asked him because I saw the ball jump a little bit to the left and I thought, you know, I wanted to know if it was on the green or not and he told me what happened."
It seemed like things might completely unravel for Garcia on No. 16 after his approach shot there hit dry land just short and right of the green, only to bounce backwards into the water. He showed resiliency though, taking his drop and getting up and down for bogey.
The only problem is that while Garcia was making par, Harrington's putter was catching fire. It was looking like you could pencil Harrington in for a bogey at 16, but instead he rolled home a tricky 12-footer for par to make it a three-way tie at 2 under just seconds after Curtis missed a par putt on No. 15.
On the daunting par-3 17th, Harrington stuffed a long-iron to within 10 feet of the back-right hole location. Not to be outdone, Garcia answered with a dreamlike response, sticking it to within four feet of the hole.
Harrington sent a roar through the course when his 10-footer dropped for birdie. Moments later, Garcia lipped out his birdie putt.
To read the remainder of this story, click here
|EASIEST HOLE||TOUGHEST HOLE|
|The par-5, 529-yard second was the easiest with a Sunday scoring average of 4.6499. Eagles: 10 | Birdies: 189 | Pars: 211 | Bogeys: 45 | Others: 2||The par-4, 498-yard 18th was toughest with a Sunday scoring average of 4.6608. Eagles: 0 | Birdies: 14 | Pars: 181 | Bogeys: 220 | Others: 42|
OF THE DAY
OF THE DAY
|Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson gets shot-of-the-day honors with his hole-in-one on the par-3, 193-yard 13th. He hit a 4 iron to within 10 feet of the hole, and it rolled right in for the ace. At the time, the shot took Jacobson from 8 over to 6 over on his way to a top-20 finish.||The 2008 PGA Champion, Padraig Harrington, wasn't the only player to shoot a 4-under 66 (Boo Weekley did it, too, and with one less bogey), but Harrington's final-round 66 earned him his second major of the year, back-to-back no less. There's no contest.|
|What the leaders said...|
|Padraig Harrington||1st||3 under||"I played great. I hit the ball well. I left a few putts out there, but overall, it was a very good ball-striking round is probably the best way to describe it."|
|Sergio Garcia||T2||1 under||"I obviously came up a little bit short. But I guess that's the way things go sometimes. So the only thing I can do is go back home with my head up high and keep working on it."|
|Ben Curtis||T2||1 under||"I guess if you're going to finish second and they tell you that you qualify for the Ryder Cup, I think that you'll take it. It almost is a victory in itself."|
READ FULL INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS:
Harrington | Garcia | Curtis | Flesch | Rose | Full archive
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"It is a long way to catch Tiger at the top. But I know that the only way of focusing on doing that is focusing on me, what I'm doing, controlling what I can do; I can't control Tiger or Phil. So just pay attention to what I'm doing and continually try and strive to improve. That's the only thing I can ask of myself." -- Padraig Harrington when asked if he thought he was ready to challenge for the No. 1 spot in the world
In seven career major championship starts, Colombian Camilo Villegas has two top-10 finishes. The most recent came on Sunday when he fired a 3-under 67 and a 2-under 68 in his final two rounds at Oakland Hills to tie for fourth with Henrik Stenson at 1-over 281 in the 90th PGA Championship.
|2||Number of previous major wins by PGA champion Padraig Harrington|
|10.75||Average finish in 2008 majors by PGA champ Padraig Harrington|
|242||Number of days until first round of the next major, ?09 Masters|
"You know what, I didn't hit the ball very good the first two days, but man, I battled hard," Villegas said. "I was very proud of myself there. And then I hit the ball awesome yesterday and just gave a couple away. But today, again, a couple par putts that I kind of missed but I'm proud of myself. I battled, and I hung tight."
In all, Villegas snatched up a tremendous 12 birdies over the final 36 holes. The tie for fourth made for Villegas' fourth top-10 finish of the season and helped catapult him from No. 61 to No. 40 in the FedExCup standings.
The PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup begin in two weeks with The Barclays, where the top-144 in the standings will qualify. The magic number in the four-tournament series is "30," as that's the number that will qualify for the playoffs-ending TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Ben Curtis might not have won the PGA Championship on Sunday, but there was a nice consolation prize for the 2003 Open Champion.
With his finish, Curtis jumped into the top eight of the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, giving him an automatic berth on the team that will try to win the Ryder Cup from the Europeans for the first time since 1999 at Valhalla Golf Club in September.
Curtis wound up No. 7 in the standings, pushing Boo Weekley to No. 8 and Steve Stricker to No. 9, meaning Stricker now has to hope that Paul Azinger will use him as one of his four captain's selections.
Below is a look at the eight players who earned a spot on the U.S. team based on points, along with their Ryder Cup experience and record.
|U.S. Ryder Cup Team's eight secured spots|
|Player||Final Ryder Cup points||Ryder Cup experience||Ryder Cup record|
|Phil Mickelson||5,342.5||1995, '97, '99, '02, '04, '06||9-12-4|
|Stewart Cink||4,952.665||2002, '04, '06||3-5-4|
|Jim Furyk||4,423.892||1997, '99, '02, '04, '06||6-12-2|
|Justin Leonard||3,379.274||1997, '99||0-3-5|