by Mark Mayer | For awhile Royal Birkdale was determining the British Open until Padraig Harrington separated himself from the contenders with a back nine 32 to win for the second straight year at 8-1 odds (Caesars Palace). The final margin was four shots over charging Ian Poulter, who at 45-1 had at one stage on the back nine pulled even with Harrington.
Harrington and Greg Norman, a huge 250-1 longshot due to his rare golfing appearances in recent years, exchanged the lead until the back nine. The "Shark," who at 53 was bidding to become the oldest golfer to win a major, fell back to +9 with a final round 77. Harrington clinched the victory with an eagle 3 on 17t to finish at 1-under 69 for the day and +3 for the tourney.
Poulter, a Rod Stewart lookalike, matched Harrington’s 1-under 69 to finish at +7.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson (30-1) and Norman were each at +9. Jim Furyk (20-1) and British amateur Chris Wood came in at +10. Pre-tourney favorite Sergio Garcia (7-1) finished +17, while American Phil Mickelson (8-1) ended +14 with a final round 72.
In individual matchups provided by the Las Vegas Hilton, Ernie Els (+110) finished at +12 to beat Garcia, who was a -130 favorite. Harrington (-105) was a runaway winner over Lee Westwood, who was a -115 favorite. One favorite that did cover was Jim Furyk (-125), who defeated Vijay Singh in their head-to-head matchup at the Hilton.
Here are the other results from the Hilton’s matchups:
Adam Scott (-110) defeated Justin Rose
Retief Goosen (even) d Geoff Ogilvy
Robert Karlsson (-120) d Robert Allenby
Graeme McDowell (-105) d Miguel Angel Jimenez
Anthony Kim (-120) d Hunter Mahan
Henrik Stenson (-120) d Angel Cabrera
Paul Casey (-115) d Trevor Immelman
Justin Leonard (-110) d Mike Weir
Ian Poulter (-110) d Tim Clark
Camilo Villegas (-110) d Boo Weekley
Ben Curtis (-120) d Todd Hamilton