US Senior Open: Padraig Harrington holds off Steve Stricker to claim maiden senior victory

Harrington carded a one-over 72 to finish a shot clear of Stricker, who charged up the leaderboard on the final day with a closing 65; Irishman becomes the third consecutive player to win the US Senior Open on their debut

Last Updated: 27/06/22 6:30am

Padraig Harrington’s US Senior Open victory is his first on the over-50s circuit

Padraig Harrington survived a final-round charge from rival Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker to land his maiden senior major title at the US Senior Open.

Harrington, a three-time major champion, took a five-shot lead into the final day at Saucon Valley Country Club but gave the chasing pack hope when he followed a front-nine 36 by starting his back nine with successive bogeys.

The Irishman moved back to 10 under with a 30-foot birdie at the par-four 15th and negotiated his closing three holes with two-putt pars, with a one-over 72 enough to claim a one-shot victory over Stricker and first worldwide victory since the 2016 Portugal Masters.

Harrington carded rounds of 71, 65, 66 and 72 on his way to US Senior Open victory

Harrington carded rounds of 71, 65, 66 and 72 on his way to US Senior Open victory

“I think it’s special for me to win this one just because I’ve never won a USGA (United States Golf Association) event,” Harrington said. “I think that adds more than if you could turn around and win a different senior major.

“But because I was never a US Open champion or a junior champion, it’s great to come and win the senior one. It adds something that I never had in my career.”

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Harrington, who carded his highest round of the week on the final day, joined Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Jack Nicklaus as the only multiple victors in The Open to also win the US Senior Open.

Stricker, the 2019 US Senior Open champion and four-time major winner on the Champions Tour, played even-par golf through six holes before reeling off six birdies in his final 12 holes to put the heat on Harrington.

“I had a couple of putts I wish I could have over at 15 and 16 coming in, but I made him (Harrington) sweat it out a little bit towards the end, which was a goal of mine, and he handled it,” Stricker said.

“Hats off to him. He played great. I played with him yesterday. He played great. It was close, but he was the better player this week.”

Australian Mark Hensby finished six strokes back in third after a closing 69, with American duo Rob Labritz and Gene Sauers sharing fourth spot with Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee.

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