Jack Nicklaus watched only the last three holes of the 90th PGA Championship at Oakland Hills, and he was impressed with Padraig Harrington's putting. As for Sergio Garcia's latest near miss, he was perplexed.
While opening a new signature course, The Idaho Club, in Sandpoint last week, Nicklaus said: "Sergio is a good player, but how do you continue to do what he does? Watson did it, but Watson did it at a young age—two U.S. Opens and a PGA, or two PGAs and a U.S. Open." (He was referring to tournaments Watson could have won but didn't.) Nicklaus continued:
"But Watson learned from that. I should put this in a positive way. Watson was an awfully good putter, and Sergio, it seems to be his nemesis. When you’re a really good putter like Harrington is, you can make up for some errant shots. Gary Player used to have a terrible time finishing off tournaments, but his short game was so great, and he was such a good putter, it didn’t look like he was having trouble finishing it off, because he didn’t give it away. He was always able to find a way to get the ball in the hole and get it done, and that’s what a lot of guys do, what Harrington does, and I did it on a lot of occasions. A lot of places I one-putted five of the last six or seven greens to make sure I stayed in the tournament and got there, and won.
"You know, Watson did it; Sergio has not been able to do it. He is very, very talented. When he learns to do that—if and when he learns that, and I don’t know whether he will or not--he will get to that level."