Harrington ends 7-year PGA drought at Honda
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington ended a long 7-year winless drought with a play-off victory at the 2015 Honda Classic.
Harrington came from three shots behind and ninth place with 11 holes to play in this morning’s conclusion to the weather-plagued $US6.1m event at PGA National course at Palm Beach Gardens.
Padraig Harrington (Credit:www.golffile.ie)
The triple Major winner, who teed up ranked 297th in the world, set up victory with four birdies in succession from the 11th hole and forced his way to the play-off by holing a 15 foot birdie putt at the last.
Harrington then won at the second extra hole after American Daniel Berger found the water guarding the green at the 17th after both players had parred the 18th and the first extra hole.
Berger took a penalty drop on route to a bogey leaving Harrington three putts for victory. He missed his birdie but holed out for the winning par.
“I was pretty keen on my own form at different stages but I just wasn’t delivering,” he said.
“I would say since 2012 I have played well but I putted very badly, and had the yips so it was tough after that but then last week at Riviera I kind of found something in the mental game which is what has been going wrong.”
Indeed, Harrington spent two hours over dinner on Tuesday night with his long-time sports psychologist Dr. Bob Rotella and has now won for the 15th occasion on the PGA Tour and 29th worldwide.
And if anything it was his victory last December at the Indonesian Open that proved to be the spring board to success in Florida’s Sunshine State.
“Winning the Indonesian Open about five tournaments ago proved to me that when I get into contention I can hit the shots,” he said.
“So the problem has been at the start of the week playing the middle-of-the-road shots and the easy shots because I just have not been hitting.”
“But when I’ve had tough shots I can hit them. So I wasn’t afraid..and over the last nine holes I felt like I was a different person when I had got to nine under.”
Victory will also see Harrington return to the Masters after last year failing to qualify for the first time since 2000.
As well, it secures Harrington’s PGA Tour card to the end of the 2016/17 wraparound season after having forfeited playing rights after missing the cut at last year’s Wyndham Championship.
“You do see some changes when your game does go off like mine did because you go from the penthouse to still pretty nice holes but there’s no doubt on your back down it’s a lot different,” he said smiling.
“Hopefully, this win will not be isolated win. I hope not as I do believe in myself and I do think that I found that mental edge that I have been lacking the last number of years.
“So hopefully I can stick with that going forward and consistently contending because I know if I am contending I can win.”