Sunday, August 10, 2008
Padraig Harrington, Your 2008 Player of the Year
There is a difference in every level of golfer. A high handicapper and a mid handicapper might just be a couple of shots here, a bad decision there. A scratch golfer and a professional usually are usually just a shot away on a certain hole, maybe go at an unreachable pin when you should play it safe.
The difference in a major champion and a strong PGA professional was shown today. When the putts needed to drop, Padraig Harrington, winner of two majors previously, made them. He didn't hit the lip, he didn't back away from the putt, he just stood over them, checked his line and did what he does. Dead center, thanks for playing, I'll take that please.
Like poker, Golf has a certain "tilt" about it. Golfers can force shots here and there when they shouldn't be at all. Harrington doesn't do this. A bad shot on 16 still ended in par, an amazing iron shot on 17 turned into a birdie and two bad shots in a row on the last never bothered the Irishman as he walked up, hit a shot from the nasty Oakland Hills rough to 15-feet and drained it.
You can makes jokes about Sergio Garcia all you want, and I promise, I probably will, but just like Greg Norman, this was a tournament that was won, not lost. A 66 in the morning and a 66 in the evening is just about the formula you need at Oakland Hills.
Congrats to Padraig. Three of six ain't bad.