Friday 22 September 2017

Harrington's challenge derailed by cold putter

SO near and yet so far.

Padraig Harrington's win drought continued in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, the Dubliner even taking a share of the lead during the final day of the Maybank Malaysian Open before slumping into a share of sixth.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (23) notched his first European Tour win, defying a two-hour storm delay late in his final round to post a 70. At 13-under, the Thai player finished two clear of Italian Edoardo Molinari, who closed out this weather-ravaged, 54-hole event with a smart 67.

Already two-under through four holes of his third round when darkness fell on Saturday, Harrington burst out of the blocks yesterday, holing from 14 feet for an eagle three at five before joining the lead with a birdie at six.

At this point, three-time Major champion Harrington (42) was warmly fancied to turn the screw on the young Thai, who'd led since Thursday.

Yet Harrington's prospects of a first victory since 2008 on the European or the US circuits were wrecked by a humbling run of three successive bogeys at 12, 13, where he three-putted from 15 feet, and 14.

He finished on nine-under, four behind the winner.

Once again, the putter was at fault. Harrington took 33 putts yesterday and the 92 he required in 54 holes was 11 more than Aphibarnrat. A cheque for €55,674 and his third top-10 in 2013 was of little consolation.

Peter Lawrie banked €33,750 in a share of 11th on eight-under after a closing 71.

Irish Independent

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