Category: Archive

Harrington finishes one stroke off

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

For Harrington, the Barclays (which he won in 2005 at Westchester Country Club) represents another close finish without a trophy to show for it. He got off to an excellent start in Thursday’s first round, firing 67 on the strength of four birdies with no bogeys. He suffered an eight-stroke swing on Friday, however, when he carded 75, littered with three bogeys and a double against only one birdie.
After an inauspicious start on Saturday, when he made the turn one stroke over par, Harrington caught fire on the backside, with five birdies that enabled him to creep back up the leaderboard with his 67. A bogey at 11 on Sunday left him even for his round, but he reeled off three straight birdies that brought him to within two strokes of the lead. And when he birdied 18, he joined Ernie Els as the clubhouse leaders, awaiting the possibility of a playoff. Woods was soon to join their clique, but Slocum quickly ended the suspense. Harrington shared second place with the aforementioned and Steve Stricker, who was out with Slocum on Sunday.
“I was pushing as hard as I could,” Harrington said. “Maybe when I didn’t birdie 17 – I hit a nice shot into 17 – I wasn’t thinking it was going to be my day. I holed the putt on 18, you never know.”
Harrington found Liberty National, which sits across New York Harbor from Lower Manhattan, to be a worthy test for some of the world’s finest players.
“The course is fantastic,” Harrington said. “It really is. It’s an intimidating test. I’m sure if it would have been dry all week it would have been great. Hard, fast probably played unbelievable.”
As for his own game, Harrington’s travails of the spring and early summer seem to have fallen by the wayside.
“I’m happy enough to be pushing along,” Harrington said. “I know wins will come along. If I don’t win this week, maybe next week. That’s the way it is. It’s nice to be in contention. It’s nice to play better as I got more in contention. That’s always a good sign. My focus is better, I hit the ball better. Coming down the stretch, that’s exactly where I want to be.”
Tour rookie Jon Caldwell, from Clandeboye, Co. Down, got a taste of life near the top of the leaderboard in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, Scotland. He shot a second-round 66 to climb up to second place, one stroke off the lead, after an opening 72. But his tenure at such a lofty altitude was short, as he carded 76 on Saturday, which featured a triple-bogey 7 at the 13th hole. Sunday’s 73 left him standing tied for 31st place at 1-under-par 287, which was 12 strokes behind the winning number posted by Peter Hedblom.
Caldwell recognizes that there’s a steep learning curve that he’s in the midst of negotiating.
“I’ve made a lot of silly mistakes this year, being on cut lines and taking on a few shots I probably shouldn’t have taken on, and a double-bogey here or there when bogey would have gotten me in and things like that,” Caldwell said. “I’ve learned a lot about myself and my game, and I know now what I’ve got to work on and get better at.”
Damien McGrane quietly worked his way up the leaderboard on Sunday to a share of 14th place at 283 (72-72-71-68). Gary Murphy has had a quiet season, but came on well for joint-16th place at 284 (73-69-73-69). An opening-round 69 had Gareth Maybin in contention, but he trended in the opposite direction thereafter, settling for a share of 59th place at 294 (69-73-78-74).

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