Instead, Steve Stricker, the 2021 Ryder Cup captain from Wisconsin, claimed his sixth senior major at PGA Frisco’s Field Ranch East.
Stricker shot a 3-under par 69 to beat Harrington in a sudden death playoff.
On Thursday, Harrington fired an opening round 64, which put him atop the leaderboard. He continued to play well on Friday, but his championship turned for the worse towards the end of his third round on Saturday.
“16 came out of nowhere,” Harrington explained. “Essentially, I went in the toilet. The door was locked. It took me a minute to realize there wasn’t somebody in there, another while to get the door open. As we are on the Champions Tour, I had the longest pee ever. And then I rushed down the fairway and hit my shot.”
“The second shot was kind of innocuous because the pin was so tight I was just playing 15 feet left of it,” Harrington continued. “I just wasn’t focused, I wasn’t into it, and I hit a bad shot in the hazard. So when you get over 50, it sometimes takes a long time to have a pee. And that’s my excuse. That’s got to be original, I would assume.”
If Harrington had not had his restroom dilemma, he would have likely not made a double bogey and won the championship outright. His three-shot lead evaporated to one.
Yet, Harrington had a chance to win at the end, but he pushed his tee shot on the first playoff hole right into the penalty area, leading to a bogey.
Meanwhile, Stricker played things safe, relying on his stellar short game to make par and win the title outright.
Stricker, who has long had one of the best short games in the world, used his superior precision around the greens to give himself a great chance.
At the par-3 13th, Stricker chipped in for a birdie from right of the green, increasing his lead to two strokes.
But Harrington came back, birding 16 and 18 to force a sudden-death playoff as he and Stricker finished at 18-under par.
Yet, Stricker claimed his sixth senior major at Fields Ranch East.
As for Harrington, he can only shake his head at what could have been.