Harrington's sights on Masters after debut win
Tuesday 15 March 2005
Padraig Harrington will set his sights on next month's Masters in Augusta after landing the Honda Classic, his first win on the PGA Tour.
The 33-year-old, despite being an almost-permanent fixture in the top 10 of the world rankings, has forged a reputation of failing to back up his form with titles. But a 27th career runner-up finish was avoided when the Irishman snatched victory at Palm Beach Gardens after a play-off with Vijay Singh and Joe Ogilvie on Sunday night.
"I've worked very hard at my game to get to this level," Harrington said. "It does mean a lot to me now that I've done it."
The omens to pick up a deserved first major appear to be good, with last year's Honda Classic winner Todd Hamilton going on to win the Open. While Harrington will surely be in contention for a major during the remainder of his career, the green jacket could be a possibility next month given his recent form. Harrington has only recently committed full-time to the US Tour, but took immense pride in becoming the first Irishman to win on the tour.
"It's very good to be the first Irishman," he said. "Nobody can take that away from me."
Harrington staged a thrilling comeback to take the title, firing a nine-under-par 63 to force a play-off. Harrington hit 11 birdies in a stunning final round to finish at 14 under par.
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