My Sportsman: Padraig Harrington
Some of the best athletes have had some of the best stares.
Padraig Harrington? That's right, Paddy Harrington. Have you seen him? When Paddy is closing in on a major championship, his eyes grow as dark as charcoal. He makes a swing, locks onto the flight of the ball and refuses to release the gaze until the ball is nestled on the green. It's as if Paddy forgets how to blink sometimes. Ask
Late in 2008, while
Surely, the golf world had made alternative plans when Tiger missed the second half of the season with a knee injury. A fourth major for
At Birkdale, playing alongside the sentimental favorite,
Winning back-to-back British Open titles -- he knocked out Garcia at Carnoustie in 2007 -- was remarkable in its own right. Paddy could have coasted at Oakland Hills, and no one would have noticed. But Paddy didn't coast. Paddy made putts.
He rolled them in from everywhere on the course that
On the final day he was paired with Garcia once again. Without laying a finger on him, Paddy leaned on him all afternoon, with that swing, with that putting stroke and with that stare. Sergio buckled, finding water on 16. Paddy closed par, birdie, par. The final stroke was masterful, a 15-footer that caused Paddy's fists to shake and his legs to twitch and his eyes, calm all afternoon, to spring to life.