Padraig Harrington was the happiest Irishman at Augusta on Sunday as Bubba Watson reclaimed the Green Jacket for America.
Harrington’s problems with his putter – he double bogeyed the last – meant he was never a serious threat to Watson in an enthralling final round.
The Dubliner eventually finished six shots behind the winner but he insisted he was happy after a tournament that saw Rory McIlroy implode on Saturday and Graeme McDowell struggle for consistency.
“All the way up until the end, I take a lot of positives out of the way I played today,” said Harrington after his double bogey at the last took some of the gloss off his week’s work.
“I’ve won three majors, but that’s the most comfortable I’ve felt through 18 holes in the last round of a major and I was in a nice place mentally all day.
“I putted well all week, chipped well. I did a lot of good things this week. I hit it very close every day. I haven’t seen any of the golf yet but I’d be surprised if people had as many short putts as I had for birdie today.
“I putted well, I just didn’t hole them. I wasn’t reading them right. But it was a good day all the way, save for the double bogey, but it’s no disaster.
“It’s not like it cost me the tournament. It might have cost me a few dollars. That was it. I feel I’m on an upswing, an upturn in my game. I’m looking forward to going forward from here.”
McIlroy, who finished alongside Tiger Woods on five over for the tournament and 15 shots behind the winner, admitted his problems all came about on Saturday.
“I played poorly on Saturday and it was hard to get myself up for Sunday. I wanted to go out and shoot a good score but didn’t have my best golf today,” he said after finishing with a 76.
“It’s a disappointing week after starting out so well. That’s golf. It can change overnight. You can feel comfortable one day and come out the next day and not feel so comfortable.”