It was a case of so near and yet so far as Padraig produced an unbeliveable fightback to nearly snatch the Seniors Open title from fellow country man Darren Clarke. Starting three shots behind, he got off to a slow start with six opening pars before dropping a shot on the par four 7th hole. Worse was to follow as he double bogied the 9th to turn in three over par and out of the race for the title. But Padraig showed yet again why he is still a force to contend with as he produced a blistering back nine of 30 shots, which included six birdies, to lead in the club house at nine under par. The highlight was a bomb down the par five last, that measured 340 yards on the rain soaked fairways, which set him up for an easy two putt birdie. But it was not to be as Clarke, to his credit, also made four down the last to beat Padraig by one shot at ten under par. It was a gallant effort and will leave Padraig full of confidence for the rest of the season!
It was a day of what might have been as Padraig played some lovely golf but failed to convert the putts needed for a low round. He eventually signed for a one under par round of 69 which leaves him just three behind going into Sundays final round. He mixed two birdies with two bogies to be out in level par before picking a shot up at the par five 10th hole. He gave that back at the tough par four 12th hole before nearly driving the green at the downhill par four 14th hole. He got it up and down there from a greenside bunker but missed a short putt on the par four 15th hole after hitting his approach putt from down town Aberdeen to a couple of feet. He picked up again on the 17th but failed to get up and down from a long bunker shot at the par five last hole. He tees off at 2.15pm local time with Colin Montgomerie and will need those putts to drop to achieve an majestic double Major win!
Padraig fires a one under par round of 69 to lie in tied 3rd place at five under par going into the weekend at the Senior Open. He trails the leader by just three but a log jam of players means it will be a shootout over the weekend. He got off to a slow start with a dropped shot on the par four 2nd hole but hit back with consecutive birdies on the 3rd and 4th holes. This had him out in one under par but then he stalled at the start of the back nine with two dropped shots but responded well to finish with two birdies on the 14th and 18th holes. He tees off Saturday at 14.20pm local time with the legend, Bernhard Langer.
Padraig opens his account at Gleneagles with a very pleasing round of 66 to lie in tied 7th place and trailing the leaders by just two shots. He was out in level par recording one birdie against one bogey but came home in a blistering four under par making five birdies and just one dropped shot on the par four 17th hole. He tees off on Friday at 13.50pm and will look to consolidate his position on a course playing long and tough!
Padraig plays this week at the Senior Open Championship at Gleneagles. As the current holder of the US Open Senior Championship, it would be a dream double to hold both Senior Majors at once. The length of the course should play into Padraig’s hands and he will be hoping his current good form continues!
Tee Times – Padraig tees off at 9.20am Thursday and 1.50pm Friday with Corey Pavin and Retief Goosen.