Harrington on 2009 duel with Woods: ‘He hit the greatest shot ever’

Ronan MacNamara
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Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington during the final round of the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational in 2009 (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

The late 2000’s were Pádraig Harrington’s pomp.

Three major titles in the space of two years (2007&08 Open Championships, 2008 PGA Championship) and a career-high third in the Official World Golf Rankings. To beat Tiger Woods on a Sunday would have been another worthy accolade in the Dubliner’s career.

Harrington has become renowned for relishing the back nine battle on a Sunday and he gave as good as he could give when facing fifteen-time major champion Woods at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone where he admits he became unstuck by ‘the greatest shot ever.’

Leading Tiger by one shot with three holes to play, the eight-time winner at Firestone hit a towering 8-iron to gimme range on 16. Harrington, out of his comfort zone and on the clock made a fatal error, chipping the ball into the water en route to a triple bogey.

“He hit the greatest golf shot probably in the history of golf on that 16th hole,” Harrington told the Fore Play podcast.

“I really liked playing with Tiger, he was very easy to play with. He only said, ‘good shot’, to you when you hit a good shot. There was no bullsh*t about it. It was just straightforward.

“He really wanted to beat you by playing better than you. He almost wanted you to play well.

“He hit the greatest shot ever. My whole life I would say I’m good at handling the pressure and not getting impacted by what my playing partner is doing… I chipped it in the water afterwards!

“When do I ever chip it in the water? And then, I made an idiot of myself and dropped it on the wrong side of the hazard rather than from where I was chipping it from – I forgot the ruling!”

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