Blueskie's Cousin wins Brittish Open
Padraig is Joey's cousin, and probably did something Joey will never do - win a playoff game.
ARNOUSTIE, Scotland (AP) -Anywhere else, Padraig Harrington might have walked off the 18th green knowing his two shots that found the bottom of Barry Burn for double bogey had cost him the British Open.
Not at Carnoustie, where calamity can strike at any second and did during Sunday's final round.
One shot crashed off the stone wall of the burn and ricocheted 50 yards across the wrong fairway and out-of-bounds. Another bounced across a tiny bridge until it plunged over the side on the last hop. Still another looked like a hole-in-one until it smacked the base of the pin and caromed 18 feet away.
The final hour was golf theater at its best.
In a nail-biter that stirred memories of Jean Van de Velde's famous collapse in 1999, Harrington delivered the fitting finish to a day that kept everyone guessing. He took a two-shot lead to the final hole of a playoff, and still had to sweat out a 3-foot bogey putt to beat Sergio Garcia.
"I know it was only a short putt, but the emotions of it," Harrington said. "I couldn't believe it as it was rolling in from right in the middle of the hole, and I'm thinking, 'The Open champion.' A huge amount of it was genuine shock."
It was equally shocking to Garcia.
He was poised to capture his first major championship until he blew a three-shot lead in the final round. Harrington gave him one more chance with that double bogey on the 18th hole in regulation. Needing a par to win, Garcia hit into a bunker and missed a 10-foot par putt.
"Now, if Sergio parred the last and I did lose, I think I would have struggled to come back out and be a competitive golfer," Harrington said. "It meant that much to me. But I never let it sink into me that I had just thrown away the Open championship."
He became the first Irishman in 60 years with his name on the claret jug, and Harrington ended Europe's eight-year drought in the majors. The victory moved him up to No. 6 in the world, part of the elite.