Harrington ends seven-year wait with Honda victory

Mon Mar 2, 2015 12:55pm EST
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By Simon Evans

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (Reuters) - Padraig Harrington ended a seven-year title drought on the two main tours when he won the Honda Classic in a playoff with American rookie Daniel Berger after a thrilling finish on Monday.

The victory in the rain-disrupted tournament was sweet for the 43-year-old Irishman, a triple major winner who has plummeted down the rankings after several seasons of struggle and entered the tournament ranked 297th in the world.

Harrington's last win on either the PGA Tour or European Tour came at the 2008 U.S. PGA Championship, although he ended last year with a December victory on the Asian Tour at the Indonesia Open.

Both players finished on six under par, but Berger found water on the second playoff hole, the par-three 17th, and Harrington two-putted from three feet after having produced an exquisite iron shot off the tee.

The twice former British Open champion would not have needed a playoff had he taken care of that hole during regulation.

Leading the event on the 17th tee, Harrington sliced his tee shot into the water and made a double-bogey which left him a stroke behind Berger who had been nine off the pace at the start of the round.

Harrington responded in typically gritty fashion, setting up the playoff by sinking a superb 15-foot birdie putt at the 18th.

"Hopefully this isn't an isolated win," he said. "I think I have found that mental edge I had been missing and hopefully I can be consistently contending," he said.   Continued...

Mar 2, 2015; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; Padraig Harrington celebrates winning the Honda Classic at PGA National GC Champion Course. Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports