Padraig Harrington: A links golf course gives me an advantage

Padraig Harrington is refusing to rule out another "fairytale" Open Championship victory at the scene of his second consecutive victory.

Harrington defeated current Masters champion Sergio Garcia in a play-off to lift the Claret Jug for the first time at Carnoustie in 2007, albeit only after making a double bogey on the 72nd hole.

But he won in style the following year at Royal Birkdale, firing an eagle on the 17th hole in the final round on his way to becoming the first European to win back-to-back titles since James Braid in 1906.

And after returning to Birkdale on the back of a tie for fourth in the Scottish Open on Sunday, the 45-year-old Dubliner deserves to be considered a legitimate contender for a fourth major title.

"The way I did it in 2008 is how you would you dream of winning a major as a 15-year-old kid," Harrington said. "Everything went right. I did everything nice and beautiful, swung the club well, (played in the) last group, all the little things.

"The way I won at Carnoustie, I don't think as a 15-year-old you're going to dream of double-bogeying the last with a one-shot lead as your dream way of winning the Open.

"They're all wins and you've got to take them when you get them. In my career I've seen some good wins and some bad wins and sometimes the difficult ones, the ones that you possibly shouldn't have got, are the most fun.

"But to believe that there's a certain perfection to winning is very naive. It's very rare that it's beautiful and perfect. It's normally a little bit ragged and you just have to make the most of it.

"It's dreaming, fairytale stuff to think it should go that way, but it did in 2008 for me."

Harrington would be the second oldest winner of the Open - behind Old Tom Morris in 1867 - if he can triumph at Birkdale again and certainly is not lacking in confidence.

"I will always go back to the Shane Lowry quote (about me), that I think I'm going to win in weeks I'm not even playing," Harrington joked.

"So clearly I think I'm a credible contender on any golf course, but bring me to a links golf course and it gives me an advantage for sure."


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