Golf: Missed putt costs Harrington pounds 17,500
Monday 08 February 1999
Harrington had no hope of catching the American Gerry Norquist when he played a 75-yard pitch to the final hole of the Benson and Hedges Malaysian Open. But pulling the birdie putt wide meant that, rather than finishing joint second with German Alex Cejka and another American, Bob May, he was in a five-way tie for fourth. Instead of earning pounds 33,981 he collected pounds 16,434.
"A spectator clicked a camera as I putted - but it's my fault for hearing it," said the 27-year-old Dubliner. "I'm disgusted. I lost concentration. It was harder to miss than hole it. I made only five bogeys all week."
Norquist, champion in 1993, took the title again by three strokes, shooting a closing 71 for an eight-under-par 280. It won the 36-year-old pounds 73,730 and, like Australian Jarrod Moseley at the Heineken Classic in Perth a week ago, a two-year exemption on the European Tour - eight years after failing at the Tour Qualifying School in France in a week he described as "the most miserable of my life."
He was "deathly" ill, it was cold and wet, he scored 81 and 80 in the first two rounds and vowed never to return. "I've not been back to Europe since, but I've already decided to join. Now I need to get more raingear," he said.
Bernhard Langer had a triple-bogey at the last hole to throw away a one-shot lead and hand the Greg Norman International to New Zealand's Michael Long.
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