The beers were well and truly at Pádraig Harrington on Sunday.
Building on a convincing win at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, the PGA Tour Champions season finale, cups were already lined up for the Irishman, but Harrington seemed determined to get the party started early.
Lining up for his opening drive on the par-three 15th, the three-time major winner paused to turn to the viewing grandstand to politely ask a group of fans to move their seats.
There hadn’t been any major disturbance, the problem was simply the long shadows the spectators had been casting on the tee.
“They’ve been sitting there, I guess all day, waiting for this,” Harrington told reporters. “I hope they wait for me.
“I moved them, they still had a good view.”
As if to say thank you, Harrington proceeded to smoke a flawless approach shot to the green, the ball curling within birdie distance.
Smiling appreciatively and gesturing towards the stands, the 51-year-old had one more token of appreciation to convey. Approaching a fan on the sidelines, Harrington handed him a wad of cash, specifically to be spent on beers.
In May, Justin Thomas admitted to being impressed by the $18 price tag for beer at the PGA Championship in Tulsa, and it appears Harrington had similar calculations in Arizona.
“I gave it to one guy, but it was for everybody in the area,” Harrington said.
“I actually went in with 50 and then said, ‘We’re probably only going to get a few beers for 50, I’d better come back with 100.’
The good spirits continued as Harrington sealed a dominant victory three holes later, finishing seven strokes ahead of German runner-up Alex Cejka.
By carding 27 under, the Irishman matched the PGA Tour Champions record score for par, equaling Jack Nicklaus’ effort at the 1990 Kaulig Companies Championship.
“I didn’t realize that,” Harrington said.
“It’s nice to hold the record with Jack Nicklaus, I think he did too. I’m glad I didn’t beat him.”
However, the win was not enough to see Harrington crowned the overall Charles Schwab Cup champion, as Steven Alker’s third place earned the New Zealander the points needed to take the title.
Meanwhile, Tony Finau continued his impressive 2022 journey with an equally convincing triumph at the Houston Open.
Shooting 16 under, the American cruised to a four-shot triumph for his third PGA Tour win of the calendar year at Memorial Park, a margin of victory that might have been even more commanding had it not been for three bogeys on the back nine. .
After ending a five-year wait for a PGA Tour win with victory at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in August 2021, the 33-year-old now has four in his last 30 starts. Once labeled golf’s “almost man,” he claimed two titles in the space of a week in July with back-to-back wins at the 3M Open and the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
“I’ve always had faith, but confidence when it’s earned is contagious,” Finau told reporters. “I’m starting to put together a full game.
“It was one of those days where I just fought and fought and made a lot of nice putts that calmed me down. I’ve never been in that position. I had a lot of nerves.
“Overall, as the round went on, I felt better. I was happy to get the W today.”
Countryman Tyson Alexander finished second at 12 under, one stroke ahead of England’s Ben Taylor, while ninth-ranked Scottie Scheffler fell short of the win he needed to regain the world no. 1 place from Rory McIlroy.