Are smiling. I cannot remember a more deserving winner of a Major Championship, than Padraig Harrington. Once again, Carnoustie gave us splendid theater. Garcia, held a three shot lead at the beginning of the day, but by the time he had played the front 9, there were 14 players within three strokes of the lead, as Sergio continued his capitulation in Major Championships. As we have stated in earlier blogs, sometimes you can want something, too much. Maybe that is the Spainiard’s problem or maybe it is that he has the emotional bearing of an eleven year old. Rather than harp on Garcia’s petulance, though, we would be better to revel in what is truly a historic win for Harrington.
No-one works harder on their game than Padraig. He was also a late bloomer in professional golf having gone to university to get a degree in accounting and having played in 3 Walker Cup (the Amateur version of the Ryder Cup) matches. Harrington is a self described “journeyman” although I would say that moniker is unfair. He finished second on the European Tour 11 times before he finally broke through for his first win. At the World Matchplay Championship earlier this year, he was practicing on the range in 43o wind and rain; AFTER he was eliminated from the tournament.
Harrington represents so much that is special about golf. He is dedicated, humble, a real gentleman and a friend to all. After he made double bogey on the last hole of regulation, his young son, came running out to get a hug from his Dad. Rather than wallow in the disappointment that he must have felt at perhaps letting the Open slip away, he gave little Patrick an embrace that spoke a thousand words.
The Emerald Isle may be celebrating this one for a month or two; and rightly so. The Irish people can call one of their own, the Open Champion but there have probably been hurrahs exclaimed from all corners of the world, for Padraig is the people’s Champion.