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Harrington seals dramatic win

The Four Year Drought Is Over

Some wins make bigger headlines that others but even though he didn't
win a million dollars or a fourth major, Pádraig Harrington's two-shot
triumph in Indonesia on Sunday could go down as a massive milestone in
the storied career of one of Europe's greatest players.
The 43-year old Dubliner brought four winless years of frustration to an
end when he made a nervy start and saw his four-shot lead turned into a
two-shot deficit before he took advantage of a heaven-sent weather delay
and a dose of pure willpower to get over the line in the BANK BRI
Indonesia Open.
"I would think that this is an important win," Harrington said after
clinching a two-shot victory in Jakarta when his rival double bogeyed the
final hole.
"I’m better when I’m fighting and little behind. I’m always a lot better
chasing. I struggled when I was leading because I get defensive. There
are going to be mistakes made.
"Winning is a good habit to have," Harrington said. "It gives you a lot of
confidence and I need that confidence. I didn’t start too well but I came
through and I got the win. That’s very important to realise. This win
does bring a lot of confidence to my game and hopefully it will show up next year."
That his 29th professional win was worth $135,000 and a moraleboosting
jump from 385th to around 260th in the world is merely
This was all about Harrington's battle with himself.
He returned the course at dawn with a five-stroke lead and five holes of
his third round to compete. And while he played them in level par for a
67, he was just four ahead of the Thailand's Thanyakon Khrongpha when
the final round began without a redraw.
His anxiousness to emerge from the wilderness cost him dear and he
trailed by two shots with 11 holes to play having three putted the first
hole for bogey (his only three-putt of the week) and then double bogeyed
the par-three seventh.
Mercifully for Harrington, he holed a huge birdie putt from the fringe at
the eighth to get back to within one of the leader and punched the air with
as much vehemence we haven't seen since he put Sergio Garcia to the
sword on the 72nd green in the 2008 US PGA at Oakland Hills.
Khrongpha had made birdies at the first, third and fifth and gone from
four behind to two ahead when Harrington doubled the seventh.
Fortunately for Harrington, the golfing gods intervened to give him some
respite in terms of a weather delay and when he came back out he was a
different man and some good play put huge pressure on his opponent,
who crumbled on the 72nd hole.
"I hit a few bad shots early on and I hit a careless shot on the seventh
hole. The biggest thing for me at that stage was that I was really praying
for a rain delay. My momentum was gone but Thanyakon was flying and
he didn’t miss a shot.
"When the thunderstorm came in, we were really happy because it gave
us a break. Golf is strange like that because a player playing with
momentum; plays unbelievable golf. After the suspension I knew it was
like a new day for me. I knew it was going to be all the way to the end."
Khrongpha bogeyed the 12th to allow Harrington to draw level on 14
under and while both birdied the par-five 13th and 17th holes to go to the
last tied on 16 under, it was the Thai who blinked first.
With Harrington unfortunate to see his tee shot end up in the edge of a
hazard, Khrongpha had a chance to seal the win but opened the door
instead by finding water right of the green with his approach.
"I had a bad break on the 18th hole when I hit my tee shot and it bounced
into the edge of the hazard," Harrington said. "My third shot was the best
shot of the week because I sort of hit better shots when I’m
under pressure.
"I’ve never been comfortable on the 18th hole since I hit my tee shot into
the water during the pro-am. I was disappointed to find my ball on the edge of the hazard. I was about to chip my ball sideways to the fairway
and give myself a chance to get a four.
"But when Thanyakon hit it into the water, there was no point to take a
chance. Five was possibly going to be good enough for a play-off or
a win. So I went back to the fairway and hit my six iron for my best shot
of the week. My strategy did change based on what I saw."
"It was a great final round from me but I was under so much pressure on
the last hole," he said. "I’m still happy with how I played. The rain delay
stopped my momentum. It wasn’t good. I really did my best out there.
Only pressure made me scared. When I get into contention more often, I
think I will feel more comfortable."
Harrington didn't build on that 2010 win, succumbing to the yips and
slumping from 23rd in the world at the end of that year to 85th at the end
of 2011
It says much about him than he still had a chance to win the US Open in
2012 and while he's not in the world's Top 50 and needs two more big
wins to get himself back into all the majors, it would be foolish to bet
against him adding to that major haul.



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