Oct
25
2012
*Insert generic ‘When Irish Eyes Are Smiling’ reference here*
By Conor Nagle under Silly Season

Irish people: visibly uncomfortable in direct sunlight and temperatures above 60 degrees.

A four-under-par 67 from overnight leader Padraig Harrington proved enough to see off the challenge of Webb Simpson and clinch the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda yesterday evening.

The result brings to an end the Irishman’s two-year wait for a tournament victory (yes, it’s definitely asterisk-worthy).

Harrington, a late addition to the elite field, began the day with a two-shot lead on an aggregate total of five-under-par, but soon saw that advantage dwindle to a single shot under the combined weight of early challenges from Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson.

A dogged performance over the back nine, however, saw the Dubliner respond in earnest with a hat-trick of consecutive birdies. By the time the foursome arrived on the 14th tee, Harrington possessed a nearly unassailable four-shot lead.

Simpson gave chase, closing with a brace of birdies for a six-under-par round of 65 and aggregate total of eight-under-par, but his closing rally amounted less to a serious challenge than inconvenience for the three-time major winner, who could afford to close with a bogey and retain a one-shot margin of victory.

Watson (71), who endured a torrid back nine, and Keegan Bradley (68) finished the day in a distant tie for third place (-3).

The $600,000 first prize is Harrington’s largest in a little over three years’ competition.

Conor Nagle