Padraig Harrington Takes Scottish Route 66 To 21st Open Appearance.

Padraig Harrington added some spark to this week’s 21st Open Championship celebration with a sizzling 66 on the final day of the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.

Harrington had blown himself out of the event with a horror third day 79 and in a round that included just one birdie.

However, the triple Major winner, and who returns this week to Royal Birkdale where he won the 2oo8 Open, showed his true class and muscle his way to eight under and a rousing top-10 showing

“I played the same all four days this week and didn’t change as it was the weather and I just didn’t get the breaks on Saturday”, he said.

“But then I got plenty of them today. That’s the difference in the scoring, that’s all.

“I holed three nice par putts today, and yesterday, I missed a lot of short ones”.

Padraig Harrington on route to a final round 66 ahead of celebrating his 21st showing in golfs oldest Major

In fact, Harrington split his six birdies with three on each nine and close to a mirror of his second round 68 when he also did not drop a shot.

Sadly, Saturday’s showing also included six bogeys and a double on 15.

But as Harrington proudly heads south to seaside Southport he could not be happier

“You know what, my game it’s not frustrating at this stage,” he said.

“It’s the way the game is. If you play it as long as I do and you don’t get to grips with it like that, you’re going to end up in a home, not in a — yeah, you’re going to be struggling.

“So, it is what it is. As much as you might want to label it frustrating, I think I got past that ten years ago.

“So, am heading to Royal Birkdale having played nicely today. I trynot to read — the cliché of doing it day-by-day.

“If I shot a bad number today, I wasn’t going to go into The Open any less happy than if I shot a good number.

“That’s the attitude I have to take. I’m sure deep down it has an effect, but I have to get over that and not let it be; not let each round’s score dictate how I feel about my golf.

“And I am now looking forward to returning to Royal Birkdale but at the moment I am looking more to my golf at the moment. That’s the main thing”.

But while Harrington gets to tee up in a 21st Open fellow Irishman Graeme McDowell faces a lonely week and having ended a run of 13 straight Open showings, and dating back to his Open debut in 2oo4.

McDowell looked a lonely figure walking off the final green shooting a last day 72 for a distant share of 19th at five under and one less than Paul Dunne who shot a 74.

Rafa Cabrera Bello made it back to back Spanish victories on the European Tour in birding the first extra play off hole to win the Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.

Cabrera Bello, 33 birdied his closing two holes in an eight under par 64 before being joined on 13 under par by England’s Callum Shinkwin, who had missed a tournament winning par putt on the last hole in regulation and his a round of 68.

The win is Cabrera Bello’s third Tour victory and earned him a first prize cheque of $US 1.66m.

Shinkwin earned a cool $US 6oo,ooo along with a place in this week’s Open and in the bigger picture securing his Tour card for next year.

Frenchman Matthieu Pavon (66) finished third on 1o-under par to secure the second of three spots into The Open.

And Australian Andrew Dodt, who was planning to travel with his wife to New York on Monday for a five-day holiday, secured the third Royal Birkdale place and his first appearance in a Major in shooting a last day 73.



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