And about that other guy ...
The victory was immensely satisfying, the crowning achievement of any golfer's career. But Padraig Harrington knows that his joy could have been replaced by pain simply due to the vagaries of whether a little ball dropped into a cup.
Sergio Garcia's putt to win the British Open on the 72nd hole last month at Carnoustie stayed out of the hole, giving Harrington another chance. Had it dropped, there would be no Claret Jug in Ireland.
"I always reflect on the difference between success and failure," Harrington said at the Southern Hills Country Club, site of the PGA Championship. "It is such a fine line and sometimes not in your control. Obviously, if Sergio's putt dropped on 18, that had nothing to do with me. It would be a different story. So I definitely reflect."
It obviously would have been a different story had Garcia's putt dropped and Harrington been left to explain his final-hole collapse, where he hit his drive in the Barry Burn, then after taking a drop, again knocked a ball in the water.
Tiger Woods joked that "at first I thought Paddy was going to win; then it looked like he wouldn't finish."
Harrington finished brilliantly, getting up and down for the best 6 of his life. That gave him a chance when Garcia bogeyed the final hole to fall into a playoff. Had he not prevailed, Harrington said the situation today would be far different.
"I think I would have got out there and played golf," he said. "But the real difficulty would have been when I got myself in a similar position again, I would have felt about it. I would have found it hard. I don't think I'm going to have that many chances to win majors, so you don't want to give one up at all." -- B.H.