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Furyk falters, Padraig prevails



Published: Mon, June 27, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Harrington eagled 18 to win the Barclays Classic by a stroke.

HARRISON, N.Y. (AP) -- Padraig Harrington curled in a big-breaking 65-foot eagle putt on the final hole to beat Jim Furyk by a stroke in the Barclays Classic on Sunday at sun-baked Westchester Country Club.

Harrington took advantage of Furyk's late meltdown in the 90-degree heat for the Irish star's second PGA Tour victory of the season, overcoming a three-stroke deficit with five holes to play to stun the 2003 U.S. Open champion.

Harrington closed with a 1-under 70 for a 10-under 274 total.

The nine-time European tour winner won the tournament a year after losing a playoff to Sergio Garcia in his first appearance in the event.

"To hole a putt like that on the final hole is very special. Very special," Harrington said.

"I hit that putt pure.

"I was just trying to two-putt. Trying to get it down there close. If you'd offered me 3-4 feet, I probably would have taken it."

Money man

Harrington, a playoff winner over Vijay Singh in the Honda Classic in early March, walked off with the $1,035,000 first-place check after Furyk let it slip away with consecutive bogeys on Nos. 16 and 17.

"I feel sorry for Jim," Harrington said.

Furyk missed a 4-foot birdie putt on the 372-yard 17th to drop into a tie with Harrington, setting up the dramatic finish on the par-5 closing hole.

"I opened the door a little bit with the bogey on 16 and then missing the short one on 17," Furyk said.

"I make that putt 99 percent of the time."

After Harrington holed his second eagle putt of the day to clinch the victory, Furyk made a 10-foot birdie putt for a 71.

"He just hit a fabulous putt," Furyk said.

"It went right in the center. There's nothing you can really do."

Pressure on

Harrington bogeyed Nos. 11 and 12 to fall three strokes back, but made a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 14 to keep the pressure on Furyk.

Harrington got up and down for par from the left rough on the par-3 16th and two-putted for par on No. 17.

"On 16, that was the first big break of the day," Harrington said.

"Jim didn't get it up and down there. I got a big break. Something I didn't expect."

Furyk, winless in 39 events since the 2003 Buick Open, has three runner-up finishes this year, including a playoff loss to Singh in the Wachovia Championship.

"There's no consolation," Furyk said.

"Finishing second really stinks!"

A year after returning to competition following surgery on his left wrist, Furyk seemed to be patiently working his way around the tight course in pursuit of his 10th PGA Tour title until unraveling down the stretch.

"I played well, that's a positive," Furyk said.

"Right now, I'm obviously disappointed. I wanted to close the door."

Early leader

Furyk topped the leaderboard after the first two days -- shooting a 65 Thursday to open a three-stroke lead and adding a 69 Friday for a two-stroke advantage into the weekend -- and shared the top spot with Harrington after a third-round 70.

After dropping a stroke behind Harrington with a three-putt bogey on the par-3 first hole, Furyk made a 15-foot birdie putt on the third that gave him a three-stroke lead when Harrington three-putted for a double bogey.

Harrington rebounded with a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 7 and briefly tied Furyk at 9 under with a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 ninth.

But moments after Harrington holed his putt, Furyk tapped in his short birdie attempt to reach 10 under.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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