Padraig Harrington won the Honda Classic on the second extra hole
Padraig Harrington returned to a scene of a recent calamity to take victory in the Honda Classic.
Harrington, having birdied 11, 12 , 13 and 14, had stood on the 17th tee in the final round with victory within sight.
But on this par-3 over water Harrington’s shot splashed down having been hit short and right. He walked off the green with a 5.
This left Harrington needing to birdie the final hole, a par 5, to tie Daniel Berger. Berger had earlier shot a 64. Harrington was on the green in 3, and then knocked a medium-length putt in for birdie.
The play-off started at the 18th. Berger had never won on tour; Harrington is a three-time Major winner, but one now ranked 297th in the world.
Both players made par on the 73rd hole. Then they went to the 17th, where Harrington played first and hit his shot almost stiff.
Berger dropped his tee shot short into the water and eventually carded a 5. Harrington had three putts to win, and a sloppy putt meant he need to two of them, but it didn’t matter, despite the oohs of the crowd when he missed.
And 119 starts after his last win, in the 2008 USPGA title, the 43-year-old had scored another victory, the 15th of his career. His last three victories prior to this had all been in Majors.
In the top six on the scoreboard was an Irishman, two Englishmen, a Scot and a Welshman.
One of these Englishmen, Ian Poulter, had gone into the final round as leader, and was leading by two shots at the turn in the final round.
But in the 11th he found water and made double bogey.
Then on the 14th he had to take a drop when his tee shot found water. His next shot bounced off a palm tree and ended back in the lake. His next shot ended in a bunker and he made a triple bogey.
In all Poulter found the water five times in his final round 74. He still awaits his first strokeplay tournament victory in the United States.
2015 Honda Classic
Feb 26 – Mar 2 – Purse: US$6,100,000
PGA National Resort & Spa – The Champion Course – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States
1 Padraig Harrington 67 66 71 70 274
2 Daniel Berger 68 71 71 64 274
T3 Paul Casey 69 70 68 68 275
T3 Russell Knox 69 68 70 68 275
T3 Ian Poulter 71 64 66 74 275
6 Jamie Donaldson 68 71 71 66 276
T7 Jeff Overton 71 68 69 69 277
T7 Jim Herman 65 72 71 69 277
T7 Luke Donald 69 67 74 67 277
T7 Patrick Reed 67 67 70 73 277