Let battle commence again

Sam Torrance
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THE fantastic battle between Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington at Firestone on Sunday night whets the appetite for what promises to be an intriguing US PGA Championship this week. I&rsquo;m fast running out of superlatives to describe Tiger Woods &ndash; the statistics speak from themselves.<br /><br />This was his seventh Bridgestone victory &ndash; a Tour record &ndash; and his 16th World Golf Championship success overall. Indeed, he has won at least one WGC even every year since its inception in 1999.<br /><br />But at least he was pushed all the way by Harrington, who showed a timely return to form ahead of his PGA defence at Hazeltine, starting Thursday. Tiger&rsquo;s brilliance soon wiped out Padraig&rsquo;s three-shot lead at the start of the final round, but the Irishman showed tremendous resolve to fight back and regain the lead going into the final few holes.<br /><br />Unfortunately, however, a mis-hit pitch into the water on 16 for a triple-bogey eight was met by the shot of the century from Woods, and that four-shot swing proved crucial.<br /><br /><strong>MOST CONSISTENT</strong><br />Harrington, however, will be relieved to have found his best form at the right time and will be boosted further by being paired with Woods once again for the opening two rounds at Hazeltine.<br /><br />Naturally, Tiger will be the man to beat this weekend as he goes in search of a fifth PGA title and 15th Major overall, but I think there&rsquo;s a good chance of British presence around the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.<br /><br />Lee Westwood enjoyed another steady tournament in the WGC and is probably the most consistent golfer on the circuit right now. It was also nice to see Ian Poulter playing well. He&rsquo;s a straight hitter, playing with plenty of confidence and can putt well, so he could also be one to watch.<br /><br />As for me, I was pleased with my third-placed finish in the PGA Seniors in Switzerland at the weekend after a nightmare start. I lost my clubs en route to Bad Ragaz and only received them on the midnight before the first day, meaning I had to play the opening round blind.<br /><br />Considering I shot triple-bogey, double and two bogeys, I was pretty happy with the 72, but was delighted with the 63 and 65 which followed to bring my back into contention &ndash; only to miss out on a play-off with a bogey on the final hole.