Harrington wins European Shot of the Year prize

His ball laying 249 yards from the hole, the imposing thought of Greg Norman lurking two strokes behind him prompted Irish Padraig Harrington to take out his five-wood earlier this year at the British Open.

Little did he know at the time that the incredible shot that saw the ball land just three feet from Royal Birkdale’s 17th-hole flag would win him The European Tour Shot of the Year prize for 2008.

Harrington converted the eagle-putt for a final round of 69 and a four-round total of 283, which gave the 37-year-old his second straight Open triumph.

In a dominant year for Harrington, he also won the US PGA Championship. The Dubliner described on the European Tour website exactly what was going through his mind when he made the decision to go for the green instead of laying up. He said:

“I was worried if I laid up and made par, I was giving Greg a great chance to get within one shot of me, and one shot is not comfortable in any shape or form going down the 18th. Once I hit it, it was perfect. It’s one of the few times I think I’ve ever heard my caddie say good shot to me before the ball is finished.”

Harrington admitted he would have been happy simply to have the ball land on the green. The fact that it was only three feet from the hole was a major bonus.

That was not his only prize in the Tour shot awards. Harrington also took third place for a tee shot to eight feet that helped him to a birdie-two on the second-last hole of the US PGA Championship.

The runner-up was Graeme McDowell, for his seven iron at the third hole of a play-off with India’s Jeev Milkha Singh at the inaugural Ballantine’s Championship in Korea.

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