Unlike Jean Van de Velde in 1999, Padraig Harrington was conquered by the Burn, but lived to tell the tale. Harrington even went one step beyond Van de Velde - when a simple bogey would have meant victory, he hit into the burn twice. And it may come to be regarded as one of the greatest double-bogeys of all time, because it was just enough to get him into the 4-hole playoff against Sergio Garcia. This time, again faced with a situation where bogey would mean victory (absent a birdie from the suddenly erratic Garcia), Harrington played it as safe as a man possibly could, grabbed his 5, and walked away with the Claret Jug.
This could have been a breakthrough win for Garcia, but for now he remains the holder of the least coveted title in the sport - best player never to have won a major. Going into Sunday, this tournament was his to lose, and he lost it. It was not a "choke" in the Greg Norman/1996 Masters sense, but neither was it a round of distinction. He's only 29, with a lot of golf left in him, but in his press conference it was painfully clear that he was absolutely crushed. This one would have meant a lot, coming at the same tournament where his friend and mentor Seve Ballesteros announced that he was hanging it up for good. I still think Garcia will win multiple majors, but this loss may set him back for a while.
As for Tiger, this had to qualify as only a fair effort - 6 strokes behind, T12. When your standards are as high as his, a season without a major victory is a failure, plain and simple. Which is why it would not be wise to bet against him in three weeks at Southern Hills.