June 17 2012
By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM
SAN FRANCISCO -- Padraig Harrington looked at his second shot on the 18th fairway and figured he needed a birdie to have any shot of winning the U.S. Open. So he took dead-aim at a tough pin ... and found the bunker on the left side, essentially ending his hopes of winning his fourth major.
"I was trying hard not to hit it right, and I succeeded very well, actually," Harrington said, laughing slightly at his gallows humor.
But he failed to birdie the par-5 16th and his bogey on the final hole left him at 3 over for the tournament.
In looking back at his week, Harrington was in an uphill climb the last three rounds after shooting a 4-over 74 on Thursday that included two four-putts and a three-putt. He knows where this tournament was lost for him.
"There's four shots easily the first day," he said. "I had a bad day on the greens the first day, not a great day on day three.
"I look back, it wasn't my ability to play golf this week that was costing me; it's a couple of decisions here and there. So it's nice to think you have the ability to win it. But maybe you just have to make the right decisions at the right time."