At the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, Padraig Harrington is looking to claim his second Major title on the PGA Tour Champions circuit and, after firing a four-under third round, he sits one shot ahead of Steve Stricker.
However, that advantage could have been more going into the final day, as Harrington made a costly double bogey at the 16th. Following the round, the reason for the double was explained by the man himself, with Harrington calling it “the silliest excuse ever”.
“I certainly could have got a low one in there today and got away from the field,” explained the 51-year-old. “Golf’s like that though, it’s hard to, when you’re leading, I don’t know, the putts just didn’t drop there for a while. Probably have had the silliest, maybe the most silliest, I come up with the silliest excuse ever for making — I’m glad I broke my par streak. It’s not good not to have made a bogey. That’s not a good thing. I know that sounds strange, so that’s the first thing I’ll say.
“16 came out of nowhere, which is, I have a — so, essentially, I went in the toilet. The door was locked. Took me a few minutes to realize there wasn’t somebody in there, another few, another while to get the door open. I had, as we are on the Champions Tour, I had the longest pee ever. And then I kind of rushed down the fairway and hit my shot. The second shot was kind of innocuous because the pin was so tight I was just playing 15 feet left of it and to be honest, yeah, I just, I wasn’t — I do that sometimes, I just wasn’t focused, I wasn’t into it and I hit a bad shot in the hazard.
“Disappointed I overplayed — you know, I was trying to get that up-and-down, so I’m disappointed that my first lie, I went under it. The second one was a bad lie so I blast that out. But, yeah, so when you get over 50 it sometimes takes a long time to have a pee. And that was, yeah, that’s my excuse. That’s got to be original, I would assume.”
Despite the bathroom incident, Harrington managed to birdie the last to take a slim lead into Sunday, with the Irishman looking to secure a fifth victory on the over-50s circuit.
“It’s always nice to birdie the last. It’s always nice to hole a putt on the last, so it creates a bit of momentum, for sure,” stated Harrington, who then added “I love playing competitive golf where you’re trying to win. I know it’s a Major tomorrow and you want to go out there and win Majors more than the next event. But at the end of the day we all play for that buzz coming down Sunday evening in with a chance at winning, trying to manage our game, our thoughts.
“It is really our thoughts, what we’re thinking, good, bad, indifferent. And that’s why we do it. We put ourselves out there and you would love in a perfect world that there was no drama in it, but the likelihood is at some stage tomorrow it will be a bit of drama and we’ll have to figure it out.”