The Irish Times

Valderrama is Valhalla for a day

It was more like Valhalla than Valderrama as Scandinavian heroes Soren Kjeldsen and Robert Karlsson celebrated their moments of glory with sighs of relief rather than throaty roars.

While the diminutive Dane Kjeldsen avenged last season’s play-off defeat by clinching an impressive two-stroke victory in the weather-ravaged final edition of the Volvo Masters, Karlsson rounded off a season of incredible consistency when he became the first Swede to lift the coveted Harry Vardon Trophy.

Harrington has one of those days

The magic touch that has defined Padraig Harrington’s double Major winning season deserted him so utterly at windy Valderrama yesterday that the Dubliner will now require a feat of escapology worthy of Houdini if he is to lift the Harry Vardon Trophy for the second time.

Harrington seeks place in history books

Money might be the barometer of success in the modern game but Padraig Harrington will be focussing on the history books rather than the size of his bank balance when he tees it up in the 21st and final edition of the Volvo Masters at Valderrama tomorrow.

Harrington inspires McDermott at Glasson

He might be nearly 4,000 miles away in Akron, but Padraig Harrington’s presence was still clearly felt in the €150,000 Challenge of Ireland as Stackstown’s Michael McDermott opened with an impressive, eight-under par 64 to claim a one stroke lead at Glasson Golf Hotel and Country Club near Athlone.

Youth prevails at Lahinch

They old golfing adage that a man who can putt is a match for anyone rang true once more in the McNamara sponsored South of Ireland Championship at weather-lashed Lahinch

Lowry survives joust with Fanagan

Just over a week after falling into an emotional embrace with his former Walker Cup partner Padraig Harrington at a post-Open Championship welcome home party, Milltown’s Jody Fanagan could only look on and smile as Ireland’s up-and-coming champion Shane Lowry sent him packing in the fourth round of the McNamara sponsored South of Ireland Championship at rain-sodden Lahinch.

Harrington carves out Open advantage

Padraig Harrington headed for Royal Birkdale feeling like a winner in more ways than one after he successfully retained the Irish PGA title at The European Club.

Eight and a half months after his last win, the Hassan II Trophy in Morocco, the reigning Open champion finished four strokes clear of fellow Dubliner Philip Walton and declared himself satisfied with the state of his game ahead of his defence of the Claret Jug on Merseyside this week.

Thoroughbred Harrington leads by six in Irish PGA

Eamonn Darcy compared him to a likely-looking thoroughbred pracing around the parade ring before a classic race.

But as Padraig Harrington left The European Club yesterday evening with a commanding six-stroke lead in the sponsored Irish PGA Championship, he looked for all the world like a gleaming red Ferrari being pushed back into the pits for a final tune up before the big race.


Left-hander Charles beats his age at Ballyliffin

It could hardly be described a miraculous performance for a man who limits his liquid intake to water and wine. But even by his own high standards, Bob Charles’ level par 71 in the opening round of the Irish Seniors Open at wind-blown Ballyliffin was a truly vintage performance.

Smyth challenged on all fronts

Des Smyth admits that continuing his lucrative relationship with the US Champions Tour for a seventh season will even more challenging than the gusting northwest winds and squally showers that dogged him in his final practice round for the Irish Seniors Open on Ballyliffin’s spectacular Old Links yesterday.