At first it seemed like Greg Norman would win. Then K.J. Choi. Then Ian Poulter. But in the end, it was Padraig Harrington who came away victorious for the second straight time in the Open Championship.
I can't help but feel sorry for The Shark, losing another major on the final round. It just came down to execution, he bogeyed four of his first six holes, finishing with eight. He closed with a 77, good enough for third place with Henrik Stenson.
[On a somewhat related note, I just realized that Harrington has "Wilson Staff" on his hat, which happens to be the same type of clubs I use and fail with.]
I will admit it, I seriously thought that Ian Poulter was going to win this thing. He was hitting some great shots in the middle of his round, and knocking down some tough putts, but it seemed that with every roar of the crowd after a Harrington shot, he dug himself a hole and crawled into it.
Harrington's eagle on number 17 sealed the deal for the Irishman, joining elite company in winning back-to-back British Open Championships. Only Arnold Palmer (1961, 62), Lee Trevino (1971, 72), Tom Watson (1982, 83), and Tiger Woods (2005, 06) have done that.
In my opinion, I think that this tournament has done great things for golf with Tiger's absence. This Open brought a bunch of story lines. The 53-year old Norman in contention for the first time in years. Two bright young stars, K.J. Choi and Anthony Kim saying hello to the golf world. (Choi finished tied for 16th but was leading after round 2; Kim finished tied for 7th). Padraig Harrington solidifying his spot at one of the top 3 players in the world.
And for the sport of golf in America, I think it took a step forward in surviving without Tiger, as I tuned in for most of the tournament and I'm sure lots of others did too.
Harrington captures second straight British Open title [ESPN]
Harrington Wins Open [FYI Sports Fans - Forum]