Jame Corrigan puts it beautifully and bluntly, as really good British writers so often do:
Just as at Carnoustie the Irishman with the manic eyes broke the little Spaniard’s heart and just as at Carnoustie the difference between the pair was so small, while the contrast of fortunes was so great. For unbridled ecstasy see Harrington, for Garcia see bitter agony.
And Doug Ferguson points out that the Irishman ended Europe’s 78-year drought in the PGA Championship, and he joined Tiger Woods, Nick Price and Walter Hagen as the only players to win the final two majors in the same year. Woods did it twice, in 2000 and 2006.
An otherwise unfortunate course setup at Oakland Hills was salvaged by softer conditions and some fantastic drama coming down the stretch on Sunday. Not only was I having flashbacks to Carnoustie last summer, but I was also thinking back to the 1996 U.S. Open, and all the drama that occurred on the 72nd hole–Davis Love III pulling a Scott Hoch on a two footer, Tom Lehman hooking his drive into the rough and effectively ending his chances, and Steve Jones hanging on for an improbable victory.
This time around, we had two horrendous drives by Padraig and Sergio, a mid-hole bathroom break in the bushes by El Nino, and soon after a 7-iron third shot from the rough by Paddy that was as clutch and tough a shot as anything we’ve seen in a major, and one that set up his winning putt. Meanwhile, Ben Curtis, while falling short, actually did quite a lot to validate his ’03 British Open victory, at least in my mind. This guy can play.
Great stuff, great ending, but overall, the PGA gets an F for ruining a beautiful course, and Tiger was very lucky to have missed playing it.