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THEY may not be classic celebrity "Wags" but the wives and girlfriends of the Senior Open golfers have shown they can enjoy a day out together.
PADRAIG Harrington became the first player born in the Republic of Ireland to win the Open on Sunday, but it was not the maiden triumph in the major for the Emerald Isle. Sixty years ago, a man by the name of Fred Daly enjoyed the finest hour of his career and took the Claret Jug back to Belfast.
PADRAIG Harrington might have won the title but the cute face that was reflected in the Claret Jug on Sunday night that will remain the abiding image of a brilliant 136th Open. They were features not unlike the Irishman's own, only thirty odd years younger.
THE thread which links Padraig Harrington, the 2007 champion at Carnoustie, with the incomparable Ben Hogan, the winner in 1953, can be traced through the eyes of his coach, Bob Torrance, who was a spectator on the Angus links 54 years ago. After Torrance saw Hogan, he never looked at golf in quite the same way again.
THE Open will return to Carnoustie by 2017 in spite of the championship won by Padraig Harrington attracting the lowest attendance to the oldest major since Nick Price succeeded at Turnberry in 1994.
SERGIO Garcia has had plenty of practice at picking up the pieces after disappointment in the majors. But coping with losing a four-shot advantage, then a one-shot lead on the last, and then a play-off will be the hardest thing the 27-year-old has ever had to face in his career.
IT was the kind of moment even Hollywood scriptwriters shy away from lest the scene seems too removed from reality. Padraig Harrington, playing the final hole in the 136th Open, stood beside a bridge where his errant tee shot had just bounced along the surface of the path before skipping into the Barry Burn. Walking in the opposite direction came Sergio Garcia. Trailing the Irishman at the climax of the championship, the Spaniard smiled and said 'Hello'.
RORY McIlroy is hoping that his impressive Open Championship debut is the start of something big.
AS CURSES go, the one that Alan Tait seems to have left on his course record at Carnoustie threatens to be of the long-term variety. Events over four riveting days at the great Angus links suggest that the 64 the Scottish club professional shot 13 years ago is primed to repel all comers.
DICK Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, is urging golf to introduce drug-testing as soon as possible amid fears top players could be using banned substances.
THE odds on Ross Bain finishing this year's Open Championship as top Scottish player were long on Thursday morning, but the Dubai-based 31-year-old managed to see off his seven other challengers with something to spare yesterday. His three-over-par 74 yesterday left him on six over par for the tournament, and it might have been better had he not scored a double bogey at the seventh. Other than that, his performances have been a masterpiece of consistency.
AMONG the innumerable emotions generated by the Open championship, one of the most gratifying is its consistent debunking of the old dictum that nobody pays any attention to the loser.
THE knowledgable Carnoustie galleries offered him a rousing cheer as he made his way down the 18th, but Tiger hardly seemed there at all.
IT WAS the duel in the dreich of Carnoustie yesterday as the 136th staging of a brilliant Open championship delivered a nail-biting showdown between Padraig Harrington and Sergio Garcia to identify Europe's first major winner since Paul Lawrie in 1999.
FINAL-round scores, totals and prize money for the 136th Open Championship, Carnoustie:
PADRAIG Harrington needed a playoff against Sergio Garcia before squeezing out his first major title and ending a dramatic and emotionally exhausting day of golf victorious at the 136th Open Championship at Carnoustie.
MAKING the cut? It's like winning a major, said Sandy Lyle after a third successive round of 73 marked his steady progress at his 30th successive Open.
IF YOU are like most golfers I meet, you probably think that courses need to be as difficult as possible in order to challenge the very best players. And you probably think that part of that difficulty has to come from narrow fairways and thick rough, which is what we had here at Carnoustie back in 1999.