Heartbreak for Padraig as he is beaten in a playoff to finish second in The Senior Open for the second year running. On a brutal day for links golf, both himself and Alex Cejka finished on five over par to extend the tournament to tie holes. With many players in with a chance, the weather conditions of rain and gusting winds caused havoc amoung the field, Padraig made five bogies, a double bogie and three birdies to force the payoff as holes became impossible to navigate into the wind. Padraig had chances to win, a four foot missed putt on the 16th and an eagle chance on the first playoff hole but everyone had a tale of woe and a fluffed chip on the second playoff hole sealed Padraigs fate. On his eagle attempt to win he said “I was trying not to hit a bad putt instead of trying to hit a great putt.” Onwards and upwards!
Padraig showed his Major class as he battled through to the final group on a day where no player broke par, last seen back in 2005 at the Senior Open in Royal Troon. Padraigs stellar effort of level par was the joint best score of the day and he trails the leader Alex Cejka by one shot going into Sundays final round. He made four bogies going out as the wind howled but also made his first eagle of the day at the par five 6th hole which helped balance the books! He again dipped under par at the 12th and 14th holes but gave that back with a double bogey at the tough par four 16th hole. His finish though was, yet again, sublime as he hit his appraoch shot on the par five last to a few feet for his second eagle of the day! All to play for Sunday as he tries to add the Senior Open Championship to his two Open wins in 2007 and 2008!
Padraig had a bit of a rollar coaster day as he clawed his way back into the tournament with one of the best scores of the day, a three under par round of 68. He currently lies in tied 16th place, five behind the leaders. He got off to a flyer as he covered the first eight holes in five under par but dropped two shots at the par four 9th hole to be out in 32 shots. He again dipped under par at the par five 13th hole before another double bogey at the par four 16th hole. He dropped another shot at the 17th before a grandstand finish as he made eagle on the par five finishing hole! He tees off at 1.45pm with Thongchai Jaidee in the third round.
Padraig has a sizeable task ahead of him to get into contention at this weeks Senior Open Championship as he struggled to a opening round of four over par 75. He got off to the worst possible start with a double bogey on the first hole but got one back at the par five 6th hole. Two more dropped shots had him out in 38. He again picked up on the long holes, the par five 13th hole, but yet again left two more behind coming in to sign for a 75. He tees off early Friday at 7.30am and will need a low one to get back into this tournament!
Padraig plays this week at the Senior Open Championship. It is, of course, the scene of his last Walker Cup in 1997. His former Walker Cup team mate, Bradley Dredge makes his Senior debut here this week. Padraig just failed by just one shot last year at Gleneagles to win this event for the first time! Darren Clarke is your defending champion.
Tee Times – Padraig tees off in the opening round Thursday at 2pm local time with Adilson De Silva and Thongchai Jadee.