Mr Nice Guy wins at last
by Iain Carter (U7103772) 23 July 2007
Padraig Harrington demonstrates all the qualities that Nick Faldo says are essential to become one of golf’s major winners. He’s also a nice guy, proving that you can have friends and be successful.
Harrington put together a brilliant business plan for the championship weekSince then they have totally reshaped Harrington's swing and technique. It has been a painstaking process.
It was highly appropriate, then, that Harrington broke his major duck at Carnoustie as this was where Ben Hogan won in 1953, and the American has been the driving influence behind so much of Torrance’s teaching.
On top of that, Harrington demonstrated his single-minded determination to land his first major here by putting together a brilliant business plan for the championship week.
He ignored the soft, inland parkland course that is Loch Lomond, home of the Scottish Open, to be battered by the elements at the Irish PGA Championship at the European Club instead.
This was a masterstroke. It gave him competitive play the week before the Open and prepared him for the challenges of links golf.
This inspired move separates him from so many of his European Tour counterparts, who preferred to go for the big bucks at Loch Lomond.
For Sergio Garcia, Sunday will provide a trauma from which it will be hard to recover.
It all stems from his errant putter, whether at the conventional length or the one that he wedged into his midriff throughout the championship. His putting undermined his efforts in the final round, piling pressure onto his long game.
In fairness, Garcia responded magnificently to keep himself in contention, but when it really mattered, when he had to hole the winning putt, he wasn’t able to do it.
Had his putting been as good as his long game, it would never have come down to that single moment on the 72nd green.
As for Harrington, he has always said that his ambition is to win majors, not just one.
This triumph could prove the launch-pad for several more. He can draw on the confidence that he can win the biggest prizes in the game.
It should also send a signal to the rest of European golf that majors are attainable.
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