Imagine Golf Blogs

Top 5 Open Moments: Padraig Harrington

The dramatic playoff of 2007

Posted Jun 23, 2011 by Chris White

Padraig Harrington in action in 2007

Last week, I reviewed the 1953 Open Championship at Carnoustie, made famous by Ben Hogan’s amazing performance, and the introduction of ‘Hogan’s Alley.’ This week, the moment that makes number three on my list of Open moments to remember, means another trip to Carnoustie.

In 2007, Padraig Harrington was just one hole from victory, and as he stood on the final tee, he held a one-stroke lead over Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard recorded his only over par round of the tournament on Sunday, leaving him -8. Harrington had made four birdies and an eagle on the fourteenth, and was -9 as the pair looked down the final fairway.

Harrington found the burn twice, but managed to complete a double bogey for the hole, finishing -7 for the tournament. That meant Sergio Garcia, who now held a one shot lead, was in the best position to win. He proceeded to find the greenside bunker, but chipped out into a great position. Unfortunately, his putt for par, and the win, brushed the lip of the hole and stayed out, meaning the tournament was left level at the end of the four rounds, with Harrington and Garcia both on 7 under.

The four-hole playoff that followed was just as dramatic. The Northern Irishman birdied the first hole, while Garcia bogeyed, giving Harrington a two-stroke advantage. Both parred the next two holes, meaning Harrington carried his two-shot lead back onto the 18th.

Rather than taking the ambitious route that took him into the burn twice in round four, Harrington was more cautious, opting to reach the green in three, while Garcia got there in two. The Spaniard pulled his putt just wide of the left edge, while Harrington completed his bogey putt, and Garcia completed his par, which meant Harrington clinched the title, his first major (and the first by any British player since Paul Lawrie at the same course in 1999), by one shot.

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