Harrington Claims Well-Deserved Victory


Padraig Harrington laid to rest a problematic trend of finishing runner-up Sunday, as the Irishman birdied three of his last four holes to win the season-ending Volvo Masters Andalucia in Jerez, Spain.
Harrington ' the recipient of seven second place finishes in 2001 ' sank birdies at the 15th, 16th, and then rolled home a 20-footer on No. 18 to end at 12-under-par 204 in this event which was shortened to 54 holes due to high winds.
'Obviously to win the Volvo Masters Andalucia in any career is a big deal and especially mine, stated the victor following his dramatics. This is by far the biggest title I've won.
The triumph boosted Harrington from fourth to second on the Volvo Order of Merit, and it secured his status at the top in the Reuters Official Performance Data stroke average category.
Not a bad year, considering Sundays title was just his first win of the season on the European Tour.
Fellow Irishman Paul McGinley also concluded a fine season Sunday, as he carded a 70 to close in outright second at 11-under, while young Australian Adam Scott blistered the Montecastillo Golf Club in 65 to finish third at 10-under.
Obviously, it was Padraigs day, said McGinley, who will be teaming with Harrington at next weeks WGC-EMC World Cup in Japan. He doesnt back off and was unlucky in a lot of tournaments where he was beaten. The law of averages was going to balance out eventually and I am happy for him.
Those laws certainly balanced in the most fitting ways for Harrington, whose most recent close call was at the Cisco World Match Play Championship several weeks ago.
While he claimed then that he was totally and utterly disgusted, now hes singing a different tune.
'What maks it more special was the fact that it came after seven second place finishes, Harrington said. You start to ask questions: will you get the breaks and what did you do wrong? That makes it more special.
'It is every little kid's dream to hole a putt on the last to win and I couldn't ask for more.
I could hardly speak afterwards. I was very focused. Unbelievable.'
Full-Field Scores from the Volvo Masters Andalucia