Montgomerie finished 11-under for the tournament, one stroke better than Sweden's Niclas Fasth, who fell behind after two bogeys on the back nine to finish at 10-under for the tournament. Sweden's Pelle Edberg and Peter Hanson were among a four-way tie for third at 9-under.
Key putts down the stretch helped Montgomerie hold off Fasth. On Sunday he managed to drain a 35-footer for birdie on the par-4 11th and another 25-footer on the par-4 15th. Montgomerie birded four of his last nine holes, and rolled in two clutch par saves on Nos. 17 and 18.
"The last two holes I got fortunate. I was in the hazard at the last and couldn't ground my club and then I holed a five-footer for par, so I had to work for it," Montgomerie told Reuters.
"After nearly two years of a dry spell it's great to be back, you wonder if it's ever going to happen again."
Fasth, No. 5 on the European Tour's Order of Merit and looking to follow-up his win at the BMW International Open recently, struggled down the stretch, bogeying Nos. 12 and 13 and managing only to convert one birdie in his last five holes.
The week's play at the K Club was hampered by torrential rains (Sunday action was suspended twice due to thunderstorms in the area). Tournament officials were forced to cut par from 72 to 70 and dramatically shorten the par-5 18th to a par-3 because much of it was under water, Reuters reported.
July 9, 2007
With stellar play on the back nine at Royal Birkdale, Padraig Harrington shot a 69 in the final round to earn a four-shot victory and become Europe's first back-to-back British Open champion in more than a century. He earned nearly $1.5 million and climbed to No. 3 in the world rankings. "I'm really thrilled with the way I felt today on the golf course," Harrington said. "I hit the ball as pure as I could and just felt really good."
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