May 29, 2023 Staff Report
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington and Leona Maguire were both pipped to silverware stateside over the weekend — with Harrington losing out on a playoff to Steve Stricker in the Senior PGA while Maguire tasted semi-final defeat at the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play.
Harrington had led the field for much of the tournament but his lead began slipping on Saturday when a bathroom break started a sequence that led to a double-bogey at the par-4 16th, his first over-par hole of the tournament.
Come Sunday the Dubliner found himself behind Stricker by one shot as they headed to the par-five 18th and Harrington reached the green in two and two-putted for birdie to force a play off after Stricker missed a long birdie putt.
But Harrington drove into a hazard on the 18th playoff hole and Stricker was the one in position to make birdie. Harrington missed a birdie putt that would have extended the play-off.
“Steve is probably the toughest guy you could ever play on a Sunday,” Harrington said.
“He has to have the best wedge game in the world. He’s a fabulous putter, he’s a fabulous chipper. In a match-play situation, he’s somebody you don’t want to be playing against.”
Harrington’s first PGA Tour Champions title was the U.S. Senior Open last year when he held off Stricker by a stroke in a duel of the opposing Ryder Cup captains from 2021.
— Padraig Harrington (@padraig_h) May 29, 2023
PGA Tour Champions Highlights: KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship 2023, Round 4 | Golf Channel
Meanwhile, Maguire crashed out after she lost 2&1 to Japan’s Ayaka Furue in the semi-final in Las Vegas.
Playing in sapping temperatures in Vegas, the Cavan woman recovered after losing the opening hole to win four of the next and was 2up after eight.
However, Maguire faded on the back nine and had no answer as Furue took control, winning four holes and losing none to wrap things up and claim a 2&1 victory.
Played great golf this week but came up just short in the semis. It was a treat to play at Shadow Creek for the @LPGAMatchPlay and thanks @MGMResortsIntl for the hospitality
Wish we played courses as pure as that every week! 🤩
NYC here we come 🗽✈️ #onwardsandupwards pic.twitter.com/kYzffNjEMH
— Leona Maguire (@leona_maguire) May 28, 2023