RORY McIlroy and Pádraig Harrington appear to be peaking for the Majors despite falling short in their glorious bids this weekend.
The Irish duo went into the respective final rounds with a six-stroke lead.
But while McIlroy carded a two-under 68 to finish tied for fifth, four shots behind Max Homa in the Wells Fargo Championship in Maryland, Harrington came even closer, firing nine birdies with a smashing eight-under 64 to finish tied for second in the Mitsubishi Electric become classics in Atlanta.
The Dubliner hit a two-under at TPC Sugarloaf, then screwed the first five holes onto the back nine and rolled in a seven-footer on the 17th to share the lead with David Toms and Steve Flesch on a 10-under.
However, he managed the achievable par 5-18. didn’t birdie, and left-hander Flesch birdied the 17th and 18th to shoot 65 and win by a shot from Dubliner, Fred Couples and Tom’s 11-under.
As for McIlroy, he came within two shots of the lead at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm with eight shots to play, but covered it with a one-over by scoring a birdie on the 14th between the bogeys on the 10th .and pinched 18th as Homa shot 68 to win through a shot from overnight leader Keegan Bradley (72), Matt Fitzpatrick (67) and Cameron Young (66) in eight-under.
McIlroy and Harrington will still have high hopes heading into the majors, with the Dubliner chasing his first senior major in this week’s Regions tradition at Greystone, Alabama, before joining the Holywood star at next week’s US PGA in Southern Hills connects.
“It was a solid day, played well,” said McIlroy, who all but confirmed he will miss the Horizon Irish Open from June 30 to July 3 as he will play four events in a row – the Memorial, the Canadian Open , the US Open and the Travelers – in June.
“Had my chances, played the last eight holes in an over which whenever you took a chance and got within three obviously didn’t end up the way you wanted but played well.”
McIlroy had a week off before heading to Tulsa, adding, “Overall it’s been a good weekend, decent week, something to build on going into the PGA. I’m really happy with my game.”
Meanwhile, Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen put a three-year nightmare behind him as he ended a second straight day of eagle-birdie to secure a dramatic one-shot win at the Betfred British Masters at the Belfry.
Just five months ago, the former Ryder Cup star (32) was acquitted of all charges after a three-day trial for drunkenness on an airplane in July 2019.
The former world No. 33 was suspended from the DP World Tour and dropped out of the top 500 before rounds of 66, 70 and 69 gave him a three-shot lead overnight as he headed into yesterday’s final round.
He struggled with his game, turning a two-over, then bogeying on the 14th and 15th against clubhouse leader Sebastian Soderberg of Sweden before throwing a 28-footer for an eagle three on the 17th and a 35-on the last. foot for a birdie for a 73 and his first win since 2018
In Spain, Olivia Mehaffey recorded her best finish on the Ladies European Tour so far when she finished with a five under 67 at Jarama-RACE Golf Club and finished ninth behind Ana Pelaez of Spain at the Comunidad de Madrid Ladies Open.
In County Louth, Knock’s Katie Poots (16) won the Flogas Irish Girls’ Amateur Open title when her two-under-72 put her four shots behind Scotland’s Lorna McClymont at the Irish Women’s Amateur Open.
As McClymont shagged the last three holes, shooting a four-under 70 for a four-shot win on nine-under. Poots shot two under 72 for a one-shot win in the U18 event over Irish teammate Marina Joyce Moreno, who finished third overall after a bogey-free 72.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/rory-mcilroy-and-padraig-harrington-look-in-major-form-after-close-calls-41628945.html Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington look in top form after close games