Padraig Harrington has explained just why Shane Lowry described the downpour prior to his 72nd hole tee-shot as “as bad a break as I’ve ever got” following his runner-up finish at the Honda Classic on Sunday.
The three-time Major winner was speaking from an equally wet Bay Hill, taking shelter under Arnold Palmer’s famous umbrella while outlining exactly how the rain affected Lowry’s tee-shot on Sunday.
— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) March 1, 2022
Where Austrian Sepp Straka cleared the bunkers with his drive just before the rain came in, allowing him to take on the par-5 in two and make a final hole birdie, Lowry didn’t have the same luxury by the time he stepped onto the 18th tee, coming up short of the bunker and laying up to 113-yards before hitting a poor wedge and two putting.
“That was a strange one,” Harrington said who was watching Lowry ultimately come up one shot shy on TV.
“When you look at numbers and things like I do, it was interesting to see. Daniel Berger’s drive [playing alongside Lowry], was 178mph ball speed, 2100 spin-rate. Sepp Straka’s drive was 178mph ball speed, 2200 spin-rate.
“So they should’ve gone very similar distances, maybe Daniel’s should’ve gone a little further, and yet Sepp Straka’s was 61-yards past Daniel Berger so you can see what conditions can do.
“That’s why we find the golf ball goes a long way in the heat, but it doesn’t go a long way in Ireland, that’s for sure!”
As for Harrington’s own game, he was struggling long before there was weather to contend with at PGA National, but despite a damaging start, he was flirting with the cut-line until another stroke of misfortune hit the Irish at the Honda.
“I started very slowly, dropped three shots in the first five holes and it was just a tough start,” Harrington explained.
“I held in there well until the last hole – I double-bogeyed it – I hit my three-wood in the water and as it turned out, my three-wood is cracked so that did a little bit of damage to me last week.
“I missed the cut by a shot, couldn’t make a birdie on the last few holes despite giving myself chances so it was a disappointing week but I did enjoy watching the golf over the weekend with Shane in contention.
“He played great, he plays so well when he’s out in front, he’s very comfortable with a lead but well done to Sepp Straka, he took his chance and that really is a great sign.
“I did feel bad for Shane but Sepp did a great job stepping in. If you want to win tournaments, you’ve got to take your opportunities when it presents.”
Harrington is joined in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational field by Seamus Power and Rory McIlroy. Play gets underway on Thursday.
- Full scoring HERE