Balls were going into the hole all over the place at the 18th green today. First, Birdie Kim holes out from a bunker on the 4.7-stroke average 18th hole at Cherry Hills. Then Padraig Harrington holes an 65-foot eagle putt for a one-stroke win over Jim Furyk. Harrington, who began each of his nines by going +3 on holes 1-3 and +2 on holes 10-12, finished the nines with a birdie (7, 14) and an eagle (9, 18) to finish at -10.
Jim Furyk, who led wire to wire and held the lead much of Sunday, was leading by two heading into the 16th hole. He fell back with bogeys on 16 and 17 and came to the 18th tied with Harrington at -8. His tee shot found the rough, but Harrington's bounded out of the rough. Furyk laid up, wedged on, and after watching Harrington drive the green and hole his eagle putt, calmly holed his birdie from the fringe for a second place finish.
Harrington, who lost a playoff at last year's Barclays Classic, is making short work of the PGA Tour this year. Having already captured his first PGA Tour win earlier this year, this victory vaults Padraig Harrington to a multiple winner in the 2005 season and earns him $1.035 million - enough to move him from 27th on the money list to 8th. Most of the $1.25M Harrington previously had came from his $990,000 victory at the Honda Classic. Suffice to say that, of the ten events Harrington has played this year, he's done well in two and rather poorly in the other eight. He's missed the cut in his last two events: the U.S. Open and the Booz Allen Classic.
Still, Padraig's win is what golf is about - holing an impossible putt from 65 feet up a massive slope to slam the door on your competitor's hopes. After hitting a massive drive, Padraig striped a 2I that didn't quite cut enough to the front left portion of the green. Furyk, who drove in the rough, punched out and then watched his wedge scamper up the slope in front of the pin and into the back fringe.
After starting the day tied at -9, Furyk and Harrington, both Ryder Cup stalwarts, were locked into near-match play on the back nine, their nearest (Brian Gay) competitor finishing four strokes behind Furyk at -5 along with playing partner Brad Faxon and Kenny Perry. Other notables include Billy Mayfair, who continues a strong season, T7 at -3 along with Justin Leonard and Vijay Singh. Singh's pal Tom Pernice, Jr. finished alone in 11th at -2, a stroke ahead of Chris DiMarco at -1.
Pos Player Tot R1 R2 R3 R4 Tot 1 Padraig Harrington -10 71 65 68 70 274 2 Jim Furyk -9 65 69 70 71 275 T3 Brian Gay -5 69 66 71 73 279 T3 Kenny Perry -5 68 68 72 71 279 T3 Brad Faxon -5 72 68 66 73 279 6 Dean Wilson -4 72 71 66 71 280 T7 Billy Mayfair -3 72 68 75 66 281 T7 Justin Leonard -3 72 71 67 71 281 T7 John Senden -3 69 67 72 73 281 T7 Vijay Singh -3 68 71 69 73 281 11 Tom Pernice, Jr. -2 70 69 72 71 282 T12 Jeff Brehaut -1 70 70 72 71 283 T12 Tim Clark -1 74 70 68 71 283 T12 Chris DiMarco -1 71 72 69 71 283 T12 Dudley Hart -1 71 69 70 73 283 T12 Len Mattiace -1 71 65 73 74 283