Superb Harrington beats Garcia again to claim USPGA
Open Champion Padraig Harrington clinched his second Major title in three weeks at the USPGA Championship last night after winning another nail biting duel with Spain’s Sergio Garcia.
The Irishman continued his phenomenal year at Oakland Hills, carding a closing round of 66 to finish three under par and beat Garcia and America’s Ben Curtis by two shots.
Little more than 12 months ago, Harrington was yet to win a Major, but has now landed three in quick succession, including successive Opens. Last night’s success made it back-to-back Major titles, and earned him a cheque for $1.35m (£700,000).
With just three of the 72 holes left to play, Garcia led Harrington and Curtis by one shot, and looked set to finally win an elusive first Major. It would also have provided sweet revenge for Harrigton’s play-off victory at last year’s Open at Carnoustie.
But as so often in the past, the Spaniard’s nerve deserted him at the decisive moment, and he bogeyed the 16th before missing a simple birdie putt at the 17th.
Harrington, meanwhile, demonstrated his relish for the big occasion by making par and then a birdie at the same holes to claim a lead he never surrendered. A superb 12-foot putt at the last confirmed the Dubliner as the first European winner of the USPGA since 1930.
Heartbroken Garcia could only bogey, to finish with a round of 68, although he has the consolation of knowing his place at the Ryder Cup is now all but certain.
Harrington’s feat was all the more remarkable because Saturday’s bad weather forced him to finish his third round yesterday morning before heading out for his final 18 holes.