SI Vault
 
Home Rule
Jim Gorant
May 28, 2007
Harrington's the toast of Ireland
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
May 28, 2007

Home Rule

Harrington's the toast of Ireland

View CoverRead All Articles

PADRAIG HARRINGTON erased 25 years of national frustration on Sunday but also moved a step closer to becoming the best player never to have won a major. Harrington (below) is the first native son to win the Irish Open since John O'Leary in 1982. Harrington, 35, won by parring the first playoff hole after he and Bradley Dredge tied over 72 holes at five-under 283 at Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, in Limerick. The No. 11--ranked player in the world, Harrington has now been victorious twice on the PGA Tour and 12 times in Europe, where he also won the money title last year. "I've always said that after the four majors, this is the next event I've wanted to win," Harrington said. Well, one down, four to go, and the clock's ticking, Paddy.

? LET THE battlefield-promotion talk begin. Nick Flanagan, the 2003 U.S. Amateur champ from New South Wales, Australia, won the Nationwide tour's BMW Charity Pro-Am. Four weeks ago Flanagan won the Henrico County Open, meaning that one more W will send him directly to the PGA Tour, a feat last accomplished by Jason Gore in 2005. For Flanagan, 22, the big difference in his play recently has been his ability to close--his final-round scoring average has dropped from 71.06 in 2006 to 70.50 this year. At the BMW, Flanagan shot a 65 on Sunday to overcome a four-stroke deficit.

? WHEN 15-YEAR-OLD Ryo Ishikawa won last week's Munsingwear Open KSB Cup, on the Japan tour, the high school freshman became the youngest winner of a men's pro event in that country's history. The previous record was held by Seve Ballesteros, who won the 1977 Japan Open at age 20.... Celebrated amateur Esther Choe (Junior Survey, G13) has decided not to attend Arizona in the fall. Instead, the 17-year-old Choe will most likely turn pro after the U.S. Women's Amateur in August.

? LOCAL QUALIFYING for the U.S. Open wrapped up on May 19, and 17-year-old Tadd Fujikawa of Hawaii, who at the Sony Open became the youngest player to make the cut on the PGA Tour in 50 years, made it through the first round. But there is no sectional qualifier in Hawaii, which means that the closest location available is in Marietta, Calif., on June 4. That date doesn't work for Fujikawa, so instead he'll fly to Japan to play for one of three spots available there on May 28.... Arnold Palmer's grandson Sam Saunders failed to advance to the sectionals when he lost a playoff, but other family members of notable golf personalities did move on. Phil Mickelson's brother, Tim, and Camilo Villegas's brother, Manuel, each advanced. Likewise, Peter Uihlein, son of Acushnet chairman and CEO Wally, and Matt Weibring, son of D.A., also got through. Our favorite of those who are sectionals-bound? Mike Van Sickle, son of SI senior writer Gary.

? SUGGESTED WOODS BABY NAME OF THE WEEK Kiawah.

? For Gary Van Sickle's Inside Golf column, go to GOLF.com.

1
Related Topics
  ARTICLES GALLERIES COVERS
Nick Flanagan 1 0 0
Padraig Harrington 45 0 0
PGA TOUR Inc. 518 0 0
Japan 507 0 3
Westchester 81 0 0