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In the locker room Paul Azinger was among a handful of players gathered in front of a TV watching the drama unfold. Next month he will captain the underdog U.S. Ryder Cup team against a European squad for which Harrington will be the leader and García the leading irritant.
"How about those putts Padraig made?" Azinger said. "Man, he's a tough son-of-a-gun."
How about that putt García missed at 17? "Same old, same old," said Zinger.
While García's tortured quest to win his first major continues, Harrington has now snagged three in the last 13 months. He has no weaknesses in his game or his psyche, and there is no reason to think he won't someday add a U.S. Open and a Masters to his résumé. Of course first he gets to celebrate this historic win, as he became the first European to win the PGA since Tommy Armour in 1930.
On Sunday night the party had already begun back home. Behind the 18th green Harrington's caddie and brother-in-law, Ronan Flood, was working two cellphones. What was the word back in Ireland? "They're running out of whiskey!" said Flood.
Harrington is a self-described teetotaler; his only addiction is working on his game. He and his wife, Caroline, have two boys: Ciaran, not yet a year old, and Patrick, 5, named for Padraig's late father, who along with nine other strong-backed cops built with shovels the Stackston Golf Course in Dublin, a short, tight track where Padraig honed his game. Last summer the Harringtons took a family trip to Disneyland. "It was the first time in me life I went a week without touching a golf club," says Padraig.
His fastidiousness extends beyond the golf course. On Sunday evening, while a gent in white gloves positioned the Wannamaker Trophy on the 18th green, Harrington was hunched over outside the scorer's hut. In his hand was a crumpled piece of paper on which he was making notes for his victory speech. Even after so much success, this would-be accountant leaves nothing to chance.