Harrington tops Berger in Honda Classic playoff

Palm Beach Gardens, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – Padraig Harrington parred the
second playoff hole to defeat Daniel Berger and win The Honda Classic on

Harrington shot an even-par 70 in the final round and Berger fired a 6-under
64 to finish tied at 6-under-par 274.

Both players reached the green in three on the first playoff hole, the par-5
18th. Harrington missed a 24-foot birdie effort. On a similar line, but nine
feet closer, Berger also missed his putt left.

After they tapped in for par, the players headed to the par-3 17th at PGA

In regulation, Berger birdied that hole, while Harrington hit into the water
and walked off with a double-bogey. But in the playoff, it was Berger who
found water.

Harrington, who earned his first PGA Tour win at this event in 2005, stuffed
his tee shot inside five feet before Berger’s ball landed in the water.

After he chipped on, Berger 2-putted for double-bogey. Harrington missed his
short birdie effort, but tapped in for his first PGA or European Tour win
since 2008, the year he captured the British Open and PGA Championship.

“I was pretty keen on my own form, but I wasn’t delivering. Since 2012, I’ve
played well, but putted very badly. I had the yips. It was tough after that,”
Harrington said of his drought. “But last week, I kind of found something.
It’s a mental game, which is what’s been going wrong. I stuck with that this
week and it worked half the time.

“I won in Asia (in December). Believe it or not, when I get in contention, I
can hit the shots. The problem has been the start of the week, middle-of-the-
round shots, easy shots, I’ve just not hit them. When I’ve got tough shots, I
can hit them. I wasn’t afraid the last nine holes.”

Ian Poulter, who put five balls in the water during the final round, ended
with a 4-over 74 and missed the playoff by one stroke. He shared third place
at with Paul Casey and Russell Knox, who both closed with 2-under 68s.

Jamie Donaldson carded a 4-under 66 to grab seventh place at 4-under 276.
Patrick Reed dropped four strokes over the final four holes to slide to
minus-3. He shot 3-over 73 and ended alongside Luke Donald (67), Jim Herman
(69) and Jeff Overton (69) in seventh place.

The Monday finish was needed after torrential rain and strong wind halted play
on Saturday.

Berger was five groups ahead of Harrington and finished an hour earlier than
him. He chipped in for birdie on the 11th before play was called for the day
on Sunday.

The 21-year-old remained at 4-under as he parred four in a row from the 13th
as play resumed on Monday morning. Berger drained a 9-footer for birdie at the
17th and followed with a 2-putt birdie at the last.

“I think it was a great learning experience. To be in this position, I’ve
never been it before, I can tell you that putt I had on 18 was the most
nervous I’ve ever been in my life,” Berger admitted. “It’s all a learning
process and just get better from it.”

Harrington struggled over his last couple holes on Sunday as he bogeyed the
fourth and made double-bogey on the sixth. As the final round resumed Monday
morning, Harrington made par at the eighth and was five strokes behind his
playing partner, Poulter.

Harrington started to fight his way back into contention with a 13-foot birdie
putt at the 11th. He followed with a 34-footer for birdie at 12 and a 7-foot
birdie effort on No. 13 gave Harrington a share of the lead.

The Irishman made it four in a row as he converted a 15-foot birdie try at No.
14 to move to 7-under. He remained tied with Reed, who also birdied the 14th.

After a pair of pars, Harrington found water at the 17th, leading to the
double-bogey, which dropped him one behind Berger. Harrington drained a 16-
foot birdie putt at the last to force the playoff.

Reed found water off the tee at 15, leading to a double-bogey. He followed
with bogeys at 16 and 17 to slide into a share of seventh.

NOTES: Harrington, who won for the sixth time on the PGA Tour, earned $1.098
million for the win. He was the first player in 11 years to win while having a
pair of double-bogeys in the final round … Berger, who trailed Poulter by
nine strokes as the final round got underway, was trying to join Stewart Cink
in erasing the second-biggest final-round deficit in PGA Tour history … 2014
champion Russell Henley closed with an even-par 70 and shared 44th at 5-over