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Quadruple bogey quashes bid for third major in row

See photos of players reacting to their misses during Round 3: augusta.com">style="bold">augusta.com

Sunday, April 12, 2009

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The Paddy Slam? It was more like a Paddy Melt at the start of Padraig Harrington's third round Saturday at the Masters Tournament.

Padraig Harrington hits in the No. 1 fairway. A quadruple bogey nine on the par-5 second hole would overshadow any positives in the third round. "These things happen," he said. (Chris Thelen/Staff)

Harrington, who was seeking the third leg of a run at four consecutive major championship titles, suffered a quadruple bogey nine on the par-5 second hole.

He acknowledged later that it ended his hopes of becoming the third player ever to win three majors in a row.

The nine on No. 2 is one shot off the highest score recorded on that hole.

It put Harrington at 4-over par on the day after two holes. True to his reputation as a grinder, Harrington played his final 16 holes in 3-under for 1-over-par 73.

Added to his opening rounds of 69-73, Harrington is now 1-under 215 for 54 holes, leaving him 10 shots off the lead. He's tied for 25th among the 50 players who made the cut.

"My chances went after the second hole," Harrington said. "Obviously, shooting 73 puts me just a little bit too far back."

He entered the third round seven shots off the lead, and needed to make up ground on moving day. Instead, he went backwards, and quickly.

After the round, Harrington's remarks sounded more like a concession speech than a rundown of his play.

"These things happen," he said. "It's not disappointment; it's a 'so be it' sort of thing. ... it's not to be this week."

He said it never crossed his mind that his chances for three consecutive majors was dashed after the nine.

"That's all your story; I just have to go out there and play golf," Harrington told reporters.

The problems on No. 2 for Harrington started with a hooked drive. He tried to play the shot from there, but the ball hit a tree and went into a bed of azaleas, which led to an unplayable lie.

"It wasn't that big a gamble," Harrington said of the second shot. "As I went to hit it, there was a root about a foot in front of it and I just backed off a little bit and pushed it right into the tree."

Now hitting four after the unplayable lie, he hit the same tree, and the ball ended up in a ditch. His fifth shot was in the fairway. Shot No. 6 was short of the green. A poor chip on his seventh shot left him with a 12-footer for triple bogey. He missed it and tapped in for the nine.

"These things happen in the game; you can't do much about it," he said.

After the nine on No. 2, Harrington struck for five birdies against two bogeys the rest of the way.

"I wasn't deflated after the nine," Harrington said. "When you take a nine you've got to focus and stick in there and play the shots afterward or it can get a lot worse. I did that well."

Reach David Westin at (706) 823-3224 or david.westin@augustachronicle.com.

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