Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Golf: Harrington's 68 Lights Up the Dunhill

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Golf: Harrington's 68 Lights Up the Dunhill

Article excerpt

Byline: By Phil Casey

IRELAND'S Padraig Harrington claimed the 10th European Tour title of his career to charge into contention for the Order of Merit title.

Harrington carded a final-round 68 at St Andrews for a five-shot victory over Anthony Wall, American Edward Loar and overnight leader Bradley Dredge in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Ernie Els eagled the 18th after driving the green to claim fifth place on 10 under.

The first prize of pounds 427,441 lifted Harrington into second on the money list, pounds 147,900 behind Ryder Cup team-mate Paul Casey who closed with a 68 for a share of sixth place. "It's big, it's a huge deal," admitted Harrington, who finished second on the Order of Merit in 2001 and 2002 and third the following two years.

"This time of year everything is about the Order of Merit, it gets you going again. I've been using it as motivation after the Ryder Cup to get out on the golf course and push on.

"If I'd been further back I would have found it harder to come out and play such good golf."

Only two events remain to decide who will succeed Colin Montgomerie as European number one, the Mallorca Classic from October 19-22 and the Volvo Masters the following week at Valderrama.

Harrington had not planned to play in Mallorca but added: "Valderrama has not been the happiest hunting ground for me so anything I can get in Mallorca could push me up a bit. I have to give myself the best possible chance."

The 35-year-old, who has had 29 second-place finishes, began the final round a shot behind Dredge but immediately wiped out that deficit with a birdie on the first.

Dredge went back in front with a birdie on the fifth after a superb long bunker shot from an awkward stance, but Harrington pegged him back again on the ninth.

The key hole was the 11th however, which saw a three-shot swing in the Irishman's favour. …

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