2008 Padraig Harrington Wins The Open At Royal Birkdale

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By Golf Histories

Like Tiger Woods two years earlier, Padraig Harrington successfully defended his title, becoming the first European to do so at The Open since James Braid in 1906.

This was a more comfortable occasion than his play-off win at Carnoustie and after an eagle at the 17th, thanks to a 5-wood from 249 yards to three feet, he was able to enjoy a celebratory walk up the 18th fairway on the way to winning by four strokes from Ian Poulter. “I’m holding on to this,” he said cradling the Claret Jug. “I had a great year as Open Champion, so much so I didn’t want to give it back.”

Amazingly, Harrington almost had to withdraw after injuring his right wrist while swinging his driver into a bean bag the previous weekend. If it helped to dampen expectations, the gales that battered Birkdale throughout the week also helped Harrington maintain his concentration.