Two-time Champion Golfer of the Year Padraig Harrington returned to the winner’s rostrum at the Portugal Masters yesterday as he achieved his first European Tour victory since 2008.
The R&A Working for Golf Ambassador moved back into the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking following his win at Victoria Clube de Golfe.
The Irishman posted a 23-under-par total of 261 to equal the lowest in the history of the Portugal Masters, set by last year’s champion Andy Sullivan, who finished one shot back in this year’s event. It was Harrington’s 15th career victory on the European Tour.
“I haven’t won yet this year, and I knew the year was nearly done, so it’s always important to get a win every year,” he said. “It’s a big win, the Portugal Masters is a big tournament. I’ve been coming here for ten years, so I’ve always liked it down here.
“There’s so many Irish people here. It’s always felt like a home away from home, so it’s really nice to win the tournament. “Harrington won a dramatic play-off against Sergio Garcia to secure his first Major Championship victory at The Open at Carnoustie in 2007.
He successfully defended the title the following year at Royal Birkdale, where he finished four shots clear of Englishman Ian Poulter, and went on to win the USPGA Championship the following month at Oakland Hills.