There he goes again.
The shot-for-shot duel between Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington and Harrington’s eventual triumph weren’t the only things that made last week’s PGA Championship at Oakland Hills feel like the 2007 British Open at Carnoustie. You also had Sergio complaining afterward about how he should have won, but once again unseen forces conspired against him.
After losing to Harrington in a playoff at Carnoustie, Sergio said, “I'm playing against a lot of guys out there, more than the field.” He was just getting started with the “Poor Me” routine, which included gems like "I should write a book on how to not miss a shot in the playoff and shoot 1-over” and complaints that the grounds crew took too long to rake a bunker.
I have heard a lot of people saying Sergio has matured since then, but I didn’t see it at Oakland Hills. All I saw was Sergio crying to Peter Kostis about how Harrington got a lucky break when his fat fairway-bunker shot on 18 ended up in a decent lie in the rough and saying how he hit a great putt on 17 that just “didn’t want to go in.”
Thank God Harrington made that putt on 18 to win because it would have been so painful to watch Sergio miss what could have been the tying putt. One thing Oakland Hills proved is that Sergio doesn’t need Tiger in the field to collapse. He did it all by himself on 16, hitting it the one place he shouldn’t have: the water.
Harrington has joined the game’s elite, with more majors than Greg Norman and tied with Phil Mickelson. He proved he has what it takes to win under the most extreme pressure. Three-time major winners aren’t “lucky.” I hope that Sergio watched and learned.