Harrington lifts British Open trophy

Carnoustie, July 23:

Padraig Harrington finally learned the lesson of Carnoustie, surviving a calamitous finish in regulation and a tense putt for bogey on the final hole of a playoff to win the British Open on Sunday.

In a nail-biter of a final round, Harrington lost a one-shot lead on the 72nd hole by hitting into the Barry Burn twice on his way to double bogey. It looked like a sure loss, but not on this crazy course. Given a one-shot lead, Sergio Garcia gave it right back when he couldn’t make par from a bunker on the last hole.

Harrington staked himself to a two-shot lead in the four-hole playoff. The Irishman played it safe off the 18th tee in the playoff with an iron off the tee and laying up short of Barry Burn.

As the engraver began stenciling the Irishman’s name into the claret jug to end Europe’s eight-year wait for a major triumph, Garcia made a gutsy play by smoking a 6-iron from 203 yards out of the rough to birdie range. His 25-foot putt skimmed the edge of the cup, leaving Harrington a 3-footer for the win.

Garcia was devastated, blowing a three-shot lead going into the final round.