U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson put on a front nine charge to get close at The World Series of Golf Wednesday, but Padraig Harrington hit the gas early on the back nine, and cruises to his first win at the tournament where he was beaten twice. Harrington, a last minute replacement for British Open Champion Ernie Els, had his only bogey on the day at the 18th hole. It was the birdies at 11,12, and 13 that pretty much sealed the deal.
Harrington finished runner up in 2007, and 2008, and becomes only the second European to win the WSOG, in his third attempt. Ian Woosnam won in 1991. After an opening round 66 on Tuesday, Harrington fired a 67 to finish the two day event at the Port Royal Royal Golf Course in Bermuda at -9 Under par for a one shot victory.
After begining the day in third place, Webb Simpson fired a bogey free, second round -6 under par 65 to keep Harrington honest. Simpson made his charge on the front nine, but couldn’t make but two birdies down the stretch, and Harrington’s birdie run early on the back nine proved to be the capper.
2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley, who was a replacement for Rory McIlroy, couldn’t dig himself out of the one over par 71 he shot on Tuesday. He knew he had to go low on Wednesday, so put on a show with five birdies, and an Eagle two on the reachable par four 14th hole. His attack mode style also rendered three bogeys, and left him with a 67 on the day. He remained six strokes back at the end, but finished in third place.
Masters Champ Bubba Watson, after an opening round of 68, which was good for second place on Tuesday, shot even par on Wednesday, and brought up the rear. Watson hit his tee shot at the treacherous par three 16th hole in the Atlantic Ocean. With his back stiffening up, he blocked the first tee shot which never crossed the hazard line, causing him to re-tee. The 235 yard monster bit him for a double bogey, and a trip to last place.
In an interview with Bill Kratzert of TNT, Padraig Harrington’s wife Caroline said she was planning to relax at her home in Dublin while Padraig went to China, and was not ready for the phone call. She said her husband talked her into going to Bermuda by promising some down time in the Island Paradise after the two day tournament was completed. Harrington was invited when Els broke his ankle over the weekend while playing tennis with his daughter Samantha.