British Open Championship 2008 Day 4

Congratulations to Padraig Harrington. Starting out the week with a wrist so badly hurt he thought he might not play, Harrington now has won back to back Open Championships—something only sixteen other men have done in the tournament’s 137 years.

That’s a pretty exclusive group:

Old Tom Morris (1861 – 62)
Young Tom Morris (1867, 1868, 1869)
Jamie Anderson (1877, 1878, 1879)
Bob Ferguson (1880, 1881, 1882)
J.H. Taylor (1894, 1895)
Harry Vardon (1898, 1899)
James Braid (1905, 1906)
Bobby Jones (1926, 1927)
Walter Hagen (1928, 1929)
Bobby Locke (1949, 1950)
Peter Thomson (1954, 1955, 1956)
Arnold Palmer (1961, 1962)
Lee Trevino (1971, 1972)
Tom Watson (1982, 1983)
Tiger Woods (2005, 2006)

And now, Padraig Harrington. He’s shown that he’s a great champion, digging deep to play a superb round despite the weather conditions.

I wonder if anyone will continue the injury-to-victory theme in the PGA Championship in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, the fairy tale that was Greg Norman’s ride came crashing to an end with a 77.  It will be said that Norman was just reliving some of his past bad finishes, but I really don’t see it that way. This was a triumph for Norman, not a disaster. At age 53, when he has no right to be in contention, Norman finished third at the Open Championship, ahead of notable younger players like Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Trevor Immelman, Retief Goosen and so on.

In all, it was an exciting Championship—especially when Norman pulled ahead again at the turn. I was anticipating a back and forth there over the last round. It wasn’t to be, but it still was fun nonetheless.

For his part, Norman apparently has absolutely no intention of expanding his playing schedule:

“I’m going to play the next two weeks, the Senior British Open and the Senior U.S. Open, and that’s it. I don’t plan on playing any more golf after that for a while. I have a lot of other work to do.”

Interestingly, this finish qualifies Norman for next year’s Masters. Stay tuned.

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