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Agony as Harrington misses out on Tour Championship spot

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Padraig Harrington on the 18th green during the final round of The AVIV Dubai Championship. Photo by: Oisin Keniry/Getty Images

Padraig Harrington on the 18th green during the final round of The AVIV Dubai Championship. Photo by: Oisin Keniry/Getty Images

Padraig Harrington on the 18th green during the final round of The AVIV Dubai Championship. Photo by: Oisin Keniry/Getty Images

Pádraig Harrington agonisingly missed out on a place in this week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai as Stephanie Meadow kept her LPGA Tour card by the skin of her teeth in Florida.

The Dubliner made an 18 footer for a closing birdie and a bogey-free 67 in the AVIV Dubai Championship that briefly moved him to 53rd in the Race to Dubai with the top 54 set to play this week’s $9 million finale.

But Harrington’s hopes of playing in the season-ending event for the first time since 2016 were dashed minutes later when Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond made an eagle from 45 feet at the 18th, relegating him from joint fifth to a five-way tie for eighth, four strokes behind winner Joachim B Hansen of Denmark on 19-under par.

The resulting loss of Race to Dubai points meant Harrington (50) fell one spot overall from 56th to 57th, missing the Tour Championship, where Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Justin Rose will be notable absentees after opting not to travel.

“The putt on the last gave me great comfort because I really really struggled all day on the greens,” a disappointed Harrington explained.

“I was very tentative. I was really struggling. But the putt on the last, because I really had to hole it, I got into it and holed it.

“I wish I could hit all putts like that. I need that sort of pressure. Do or die makes it a lot easier, but it’s disappointing. When I finished and I was fifth, it looked like I maybe had a chance. But it was just a step too far.”

“What’s good as I could see where I am going wrong,” added Harrington, who will round off the season in the father and son PNC Championship in Orlando from December 17-19.

“The last couple of weeks have been an eye-opener. Even the Ryder Cup was an eye-opener. I could see in my own game what I need to do. I could see what’s lacking, and I know how to fix it. Whether I do it or not is up to me.”

Clandeboye’s Jonathan Caldwell finished 94th in the Race to Dubai after a closing 68 left him tied 55th on the Fire Course on 11-under as Hansen closed with a bogey-free 68 to win his second European Tour title by a shot from Italian Francesco Laporta and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger (65) on 23-under par.

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As for Meadow, the Jordanstown star avoided a trip to the Q-Series when she recovered from a double-bogey six at her 11th hole and carded a level-par 70 to tie for 47th on four-under-par in the Pelican Women’s Championship in Tampa.

It was a disappointing day for Leona Maguire, who had high hopes of clinching her first win after opening with an eight-under 62 but followed a brace of 68s by taking 34 putts in a  final round 75.

She finished tied 28th on seven-under, 10 shots outside a playoff between Lexi Thompson, Nelly Korda, Lydia Ko and Sei Young Kim.

On the PGA Tour, Jason Kokrak (36) denied US Ryder Cup star Scottie Scheffler his maiden win when he came home in a blistering 31 blows to win the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open.

Kokrak closed with a five-under 65 to clinch his third career win by two shots on 10-under par from Kevin Tway and Scheffler, who shot 69.


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