Harrington Repeats as British Open Champion
The sentimental favorite entering into the final round on Sunday was the veteran Greg Norman, who was attempting to be the oldest player to take home the Claret Jug at the age of 53. It was a wonderful storyline but Padraig Harrington had other ideas and instead became just the 5th player in the last 50 years to repeat as British Open champion. Two great stories, however only one could come out victorious on Sunday and Harrington showed he had the stuff of champions as he played the last nine holes at 4-under par.
Greg Norman finished tied for third with Henrik Stenson, which was a very respectable finish but likely disappointing for the Shark after closing with a 7-over par round of 77. Norman’s previous highest round of the Open was 72 on Saturday. The Shark was quoted saying, “I know it was a good week. Can I walk away feeling down? Of course, I can. But can I walk away feeling pretty good? Yeah, I can do that as well.”
The repeat win by Harrington puts him in a very select group of legendary golfers, such as Woods, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer. Over the course of four rounds Harrington proved consistency is key to taking home the Claret Jug with rounds of 74, 68, 72, and 69. His 283 total gave him a four shot victory over Ian Poulter and allowed Harrington to thoroughly enjoy walking up to the 18th green with very little pressure. Most impressive was Harrington’s approach shots on both 17 and 18 coming home Sunday as he attacked both flags and landed close on both occasions. He dropped his putt on 17 for eagle, his second on 17 during the Open, and narrowly missed his putt on 18 to close with a par.
PGA Irish Region Secretary Michael McCumiskey stated, “he really is a golfer extraordinaire. This second Open win is great for Irish golf. Even people in Ireland who don’t play golf can relate to Padraig Harrington. He is something special.”
It was a great week for golf and the PGA can sleep soundly that even without Tiger, a major tournament can be a wonderful success and full of great moments. (sources: irishtimes.com, tsn.ca)