Padraig Harrington hangs tough to claim first Senior Tour major

Under pressure from Steve Stricker, the Dublin made key putts on the way in to claim US Senior Open title in Pennsylvania
Padraig Harrington hangs tough to claim first Senior Tour major

MAJOR WIN: Padraig Harrington survived a final round wobble to claim his first Senior Tour major

Padraig Harrington will arrive in Mount Juliet for this week's Irish Open with another major to his name after seeing off a late charge by America's Steve Stricker to claim the US Senior Open.

What looked on Saturday like a lap of honour turned into a Sunday sweat as Harrington saw a six-sot lead heading in the back nine at Saucon Valley Country Club whittled down to a single shot by the finish.

"It's tough to lead from the front," Harrington said afterwards, "and it's even tougher when it's Steve Stricker behind you, he's kind of got one up on me but maybe I owed him one today.

"He has certainly had my number a few times so I might have preferred another player coming up behind me, but not Steve Stricker, he tends to have one on me. So I was happy enough to get it done in the end."

Stricker started the final round a whopping eight shots behind the Dubliner but signed for a 65 to increase the heat on three-time major winner Harrington. The American birdied the final two holes as Harrington dropped shots on No's 10 and 11. However he steadied the ship with a crucial birdie putt on 15,  and made a key par save at No 17.

Reflected Harrington: "The reason I'm on the Champions Tour is I want to win, I want to win big events and majors. You might go out on the regular Tour and it's a struggle, you come here and you've got the crowd here rooting for you. My caddie said to me out there, 'would you want to be anywhere else'."

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