Finish Player Scoring Rounds
to Par 2 3 4
1 - 3 74 66 66 T2 - 1 73 69 68 T2 - 1 67 68 71 T4 + 1 72 67 68 T4 + 1 70 68 72 6 + 2 70 70 69 T7 + 4 78 65 72 T7 + 4 73 71 70 T9 + 5 70 71 74 T9 + 5 74 70 73 T9 + 5 67 74 71 T9 + 5 72 70 70
2008 PGA Championship top finishers
Jeev M. Singh
277 279 279 281 281 282 284 284 285 285 285 285
Above: Garcia would go on to miss this 10-foot birdie putt on the 15th hole of the final round – which would have given him a two-stroke lead over Curtis and Harrington with three holes to play. Below: Harrington celebrated with his family on the 18th green after sinking a 15-footer for par on the 72nd hole of the Championship.
course, but you learn a lot of things about yourself and your game. That’s what a major championship does.”
Greater length and more severe bunkering were the basic hassles there. But they were hardly the only enemies awaiting championship golf’s best field as players drove their courtesy cars to a 92-year-old golf shrine, situated 20 miles northwest of Detroit, in Bloomfield Township, Mich.
Kerry Haigh, The PGA of America’s managing director of championships and business development, wanted the game’s elite craftsmen to play a course befitting their talents. In other words, fair ways would reward accurate tee shots. Rough was going to be thick for those whose drivers were not sufficiently disciplined. The greens, which remain true to Ross’
original mastery, would putt at a major championship’s speed limit.
A hot summer sun and steady winds added even more teeth to the new and more perilous Oakland Hills. And, naturally, not everyone was happy, even after heavy rain on Saturday softened the greens and allowed for somewhat steadier approach shots on Sunday.
That’s because so many golfers still had to finish, or play, the third round. Eighteen holes on a track as tough as Oakland Hills is not everyone’s idea of leisure on a summer Sunday. Having to negotiate those hills and Ross’ slick, roller-coaster greens twice in one day are rigors enough. But when it is accompanied by raw 60-degree weather, wind, and a wet chill more reminiscent of the British Open, a bruising course becomes even more of a bully.
Those were the conditions on Sunday. Even for a state whose weather can be an everyday mischief-maker, for Michigan this was a decidedly weird day in August, when 85 degree afternoons are more the norm. But in its gray and clammy way, the final round seemed to favor a man from Ireland.
Or did it?
Harrington was not so sure as he shot 34 to Garcia’s scalding 31 on the front nine. Three strokes separated them with nine holes to play.
“It looked like his day,” Harrington said after ward, “and I had to convince myself not to get into this sentimental thing that maybe it’s his turn. You’ve got to be very selfish in this situation.”
With that, Harrington methodically took apart the back nine, hole by hole. He and Garcia were tied for the lead as they