Air Padraig

It was late Sunday afternoon at the Stanford St. Jude Championship in Memphis, and Karl MacGinty, golf writer of Ireland’s Independent, was sweating. It wasn’t just the mid-90s heat and oppressive humidity. MacGinty had a flight to San Diego to catch.
"I’m not going to make it," MacGinty told me. Three late birdies by Trevor Immelman, and one by Robert Allenby, had forced a playoff with Justin Leonard. It went two holes. No way MacGinty was going to have time to write his story, drive across Memphis, and make it to San Diego by Sunday night — no way until he bumped into Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, the 2007 British Open champ and all around good guy who had yet to leave the St. Jude premises. MacGinty needed a lift. Harrington happened to be flying to San Diego for the U.S. Open on a private jet. The rest is history. I wonder if Bill Belichick will let me fly on the Patriots charter this fall?

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