Victory is signed and sealed for Harrington

A relieved Padraig Harrington sits at the top of Europe's Ryder Cup table after finally adding his signature to a winning scorecard. The 29-year-old Dubliner captured the BBVA Turespana Masters in Madrid by two strokes yesterday, for his first victory since the drama of the Benson and Hedges International in May.

A relieved Padraig Harrington sits at the top of Europe's Ryder Cup table after finally adding his signature to a winning scorecard. The 29-year-old Dubliner captured the BBVA Turespana Masters in Madrid by two strokes yesterday, for his first victory since the drama of the Benson and Hedges International in May.

Harrington was five strokes clear with 18 holes to play at The Belfry when it was discovered he had failed to sign his first round card. Instead of collecting the £166,660 top prize, he was disqualified and left with nothing to show for his efforts that week.

There was no way he was going to make the same mistake in the Spanish capital, though, after he shot a closing 70 for a 17 under par total of 267.

The relief was not only from the fact that his scorecard, complete with two of his signatures just to be sure, was approved before he was handed the £97,824 cheque, but also that he had survived an unnerving back nine wobble.

"I won purely on my mental side," he admitted. "My driving was very poor and it was the ability to persevere and not get down on myself which got me through."

A rousing finish from Scotland's Gary Orr put the pressure on, but Harrington sank a 20-foot putt for par on the 16th after going from one bunker into another and then safely parred the last two.

It was only the third victory of his five-year Tour career, but his second at Club de Campo. His maiden success, in only his 10th Tour event, came in the 1996 Spanish Open.

Orr, who eagled the 14th and birdied the 15th and 18th, earned £65,218 for second place and Swede Per-Ulrik Johansson, who was left to rue missed putts of two, five and three feet over the final nine, was third.

Round of the day was a 65 from Darren Clarke and it brought the Ulsterman from 15th spot to fourth. But he needed to win to go back to the top of the money list ahead of Lee Westwood and with three events to go he trails his stablemate by just under £39,000.

BBVA TURESPANA MASTERS (Club de Campo, Madrid, Sp) Leading final scores (GB & Irl unless stated): 267 P Harrington 67 64 66 70; 269 G Orr 67 68 68 66; 270 P-U Johansson (Swe) 72 63 67 68; 271 D Clarke 66 70 70 65; 272 F Cea (Sp) 68 67 70 67, P McGinley 67 69 68 68; 273 E Romero (Arg) 72 66 67 68, M A Jimenez (Sp) 66 66 69 72. 274 E Darcy 69 67 67 71, R Wessels (SA) 68 65 69 72, S Luna (Sp) 65 70 66 73. Selected: 276 P Baker 68 71 65 72; 278 S Garcia (Sp) 68 69 71 70, A Coltart 71 70 70 68. 283 S Torrance 69 71 72 71, B Langer (Ger) 72 69 71 71.

Comments