Padraig Harrington Wins U.S. Senior Open in Pennsylvania

Padraig Harrington (USGA)

Padraig Harrington captured the US Senior Open at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Sunday — his first major on the Champions Tour.

The 50-year-old Dubliner carded a final-round 72 to finish on 10 under, one shot clear of Steve Stricker — who captained the US to Ryder Cup victory over Harrington’s Team Europe last year.

Harrington, who is a three-time major, went onto Sunday’s final round with a lofty 5 stroke advantage but saw that lead reduced to the bare minimum

A bogey on the second set Harrington back, but he steadied himself with a birdie on the sixth, before repeating the sequence on the seventh and eighth.

Consecutive bogeys at the start of the back nine saw him slip back once again before a timely birdie on the 15th.

Pars on the final three holes eventually got Harrington over the line and avoid a playoff against Stricker who had put in a lightning round of 65.

“It’s tough to lead from the front and it’s even tougher when it’s Steve Stricker behind you,” Harrington said.

“He’s kind of got one up on me. Maybe I owed him one here today but he certainly had my number a few times.

“I might’ve fancied another player coming behind me but not Steve Stricker. He had one over on me so I’m happy enough to get it done in the end.”

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Harrington said that playing on the seniors tour has given him added inspiration.

“You go out on the regular tour and if you’re not winning the tournament and you’re finishing 30th or 40th it’s a struggle. But with the crowds cheering you on and rooting for you, and rooting against you in places, that’s why we do it.”

“It’s very special. The reason I’m on the Champions Tour and the reason I’m out here is I want to win. I want to win the big events. I want to win the majors on the Champions Tour.