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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hi-Tec's Harrington claims Order of Merit

Padraig Harrington snatched his first European Order of Merit title after a dramatic final round at the Volvo Masters in Valderrama.

India's Jeev Milkha Singh was the shock winner of the tournament but all the attention was on a tumultuous battle for the European number one spot.
Paul Casey was in pole position until virtually the final shot of the day.
But when Sergio Garcia bogeyed the last Harrington moved into a tie for second place and the title was his.

Harrington, who put himself into contention by winning the dunhill links at St Andrews two weeks ago, set up a gripping climax to the day and season when he rolled in a 35ft putt on the 16th - a third birdie in six holes to put him joint third.
But, perhaps thinking he needed another birdie, he was then short with a bold approach to the long 17th and found the water.

The 35-year-old Dubliner, however, showed great courage to get up and down from the drop zone, holing an 8ft putt for par. He then had to repeat the trick on the last after missing the fairway with his drive.
That left him with a 69 and one-under total but minutes later he was up to the second place he needed as Garcia bogeyed the 13th and 14th.

EUROPEAN ORDER OF MERIT

1 Padraig Harrington (Ire), £1,667,6182
Paul Casey (Eng), £1,644,0023
David Howell (Eng), £1,554,9594
Robert Karlsson (Swe), £1,369,9115
Ernie Els (SA), £1,149,6956
Henrik Stenson (Swe), £1,145,1077
Luke Donald (Eng), £1,110,7418
Ian Poulter (Eng), £1,064,527

That was the first time this season Harrington, who finished second to Retief Goosen in 2001 and 2002, had led the race for number one status in Europe.

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