The finale of the 2007 Open Championship at Carnoustie, won by Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, was almost as memorable as the last time The Open was held there in 1999 when Jean Van de Velde famously took a dip in the Barry Burn as he squandered his chances of victory.
Harrington, who won the Order of Merit on the European Tour the year before, started the final day from six strokes back and signed for a 67 and then defeated Sergio Garcia in a four-hole aggregate play-off. But that far from tells the whole story.
Harrington was on a huge charge and by the time he eagled the 14th he was 6-under for the round and level with Garcia on 9-under par. Garcia bogeyed 15 to fall behind but Harrington put two balls in the Burn on the 18th in scenes reminiscent of Van de Velde and wound up with a double to drop to 7-under.
Too Much Pace
Garcia needed to par the last to win and after escaping from the greenside bunker his putt from 8 feet had too much pace and grazed the edge. So they went to the play off (holes 1, 16, 17 and 18). Garcia bogeyed the first and Harrington made birdie to take a two-stroke lead.
Garcia hit a superb shot to the par-3 16th which hit the pin and rolled away from the cup – his luck deserting him. Both made par. They again matched each other on the 17th and with a two stroke advantage still intact Harrington made a two-putter for bogey to win by one with Garcia already in for par.
The Claret Jug was the Irishman’s and Garcia’s long wait for a first Major continued.