Harrington claims 1st Euro­pean Tour vic­tory in 8 years

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Padraig Harrington stayed calm on the fi­nal hole to win the Por­tu­gal Mas­ters on Sun­day for his first Euro­pean Tour vic­tory in eight years.

Harrington pitched from the rough and holed a 4-foot par putt to close with a 6-un­der 65. That left him at 23-un­der 261 for the tour­na­ment, enough for a one-shot win over de­fend­ing cham­pion Andy Sul­li­van.

Three-time ma­jor cham­pion Harrington had taken the lead with his sixth birdie of the day on the 17th, and fin­ished a bo­gey-free round at the Vic­to­ria Clube de Golfe to clinch his 15th Euro­pean Tour vic­tory. He last won on tour in 2008 at the US PGA Cham­pi­onship.

The Ir­ish­man is now tied with Thomas Bjorn at 15th on the all­time list.

“It’s al­ways im­por­tant to get a win ev­ery year,” Harrington said. “I tried to be re­ally ag­gres­sive. The golf course suited me and I just tried to go af­ter ev­ery pin I could and make birdies. I have a pretty good short game that was on form this week. No mat­ter where I hit it, I felt like I could get it up and down.”

The 45-year-old Harrington fin­ished two shots in front of An­ders Hansen of Den­mark and Mikko Korho­nen of Fi­na­land, who were tied for third.

Sul­li­van, who was try­ing to be­come the first player to suc­cess­fully de­fend the ti­tle, birdied four of his first five holes but the English­man couldn’t make a charge in the end. He also shot a 6-un­der 65.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamil­ton, of Bri­tain, and Mercedes driver Nico Ros­berg, of Ger­many, cel­e­brate with the crew and friends at the end of the US GP Photo: AP

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