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Monday, October 09, 2006

Harrington claims Dunhill victory

Padraig Harrington secured his 10th European Tour career title with success in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.

Harrington carded a final round of 68 at the Old Course to wrap up a five-shot victory.
The first prize of £427,441 lifts the Irishman into second on the Order of Merit, £147,900 behind Paul Casey with two events remaining.

Casey closed with a 68 for a share of sixth place.
Harrington began the final round a shot behind Welshman Bradley Dredge but immediately wiped out that deficit with a birdie on the first.

Dredge went back in front with a birdie on the fifth after a superb long bunker shot from an awkward stance but Harrington pegged him back again on the ninth.
The key hole for Harrington was the 11th where Dredge found the bunker off the tee and was forced to play out backwards on his way to a double-bogey five, while Harrington holed from 10 feet for a birdie two.

That allowed Harrington to cruise to his second victory in the event in four years with Dredge, Anthony Wall and American Edward Loar five shots back.

"The Order of Merit is a huge deal," said Harrington, who finished second in 2001 and 2002 and third the following two years.
"I hadn't won in Europe for two years, although I won twice in America last year, but it's great to come back and win.
"You never want to go a year without a win. It's very special to win and I'm really happy the way I did it."
South African Ernie Els fired in an eagle at the last to finish fifth at ten-under par.

EUROPEAN ORDER OF MERIT STANDINGS
1. Paul Casey£1,633,151
2. Padraig Harrington£1,485,250
3. David Howell £1,468,513
4. Robert Karlsson£1,331364
5. Ernie Els£1,163,365

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