By Brian Keogh

Padraig Harrington took the Claret Jug home with enough silver polish to keep it gleaming for another year.

But the Dubliner was just as dazzled by an amazing co-incidence involving the Open and the European Club.

Last year he won the Irish PGA there in a play-off before taking the same route to beat Sergio Garcia in the Open.

Then on Sunday he won the Open by four shots, just eight days after beat Philip Walton by four shots to retain the Irish PGA.

Harrington hadn't thought of the coincidence and smiled from ear to ear when he heard of it.

He said: "That's amazing. The European Club has been a great help to me and there is not doubt that playing links golf there helped me win the Open again.

"The Ruddy family have been amazingly generous and wonderful golf people."

Gazing at the trophy, which had been polished up by the R&A, he said: "It's a little shinier than I remember. They obviously cleaned it up nicely."

Now Harrington can use some elbow grease to keep it looking like new after Gerry Ruddy of The European Club turned up for the Dubliner's Monday morning press conference with a tin of "Silvo Silver Polish" in a fancy presentation bag.

A son of European Club owner Pat Ruddy, Gerry said: "I was thinking last night about what an amazing co-incidence it was that Padraig won the Open by four shots.

"Last year he won the Irish PGA in the play-off at The European Club and won the Open in a play-off the following week.

"Now he's won the Open by four shots. I think there might be something in this."

The venue for the 2009 Irish PGA Championship has yet to be decided but both Ruddy and Harrington would be happy to go for three in a row.

Ruddy said: "We've heard nothing yet but if the Irish Region of the PGA wants to come The European Club, they will be very welcome."