Frenchman Gregory Havret took it to the third best golfer in the world Sunday, defeating Phil Mickelson in a sudden death playoff to take home the European PGA Tour's Barclays Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.
Mickelson entered the day with a one stroke lead over Havret, but quickly found himself worried more with charges from the likes of Luke Donald and Ernie Els, both of who held the clubhouse lead at different points on Sunday. Meanwhile, the unsung Havret played steady and waited, carding a workmanlike back-nine 34, including two birdies down the stretch, to post a 68 and finish at 14-under-par.
"It feels awesome to have won," said Havret. "It's a dream come true. I have to say that the French Open is obviously very important for me and for us, but after that, to win a tournament in Scotland is just something else."
Havret has a lot to thank Mickelson for, however. Mickelson seemed well on his way to taking the title - and showing the golf world that he is over a wrist injury that sent him home early at last month's U.S. Open. But down the home stretch he could never put any distance between himself and the field. Birdies at Nos. 13, 15, and 17 (a long, 30-footer) were offset by bogeys on Nos. 14, 16 and 18.
Havret won on the first whole of extra time. Mickelson pushed his drive left, flirting with Loch Lomond before coming to rest in deep rough. Mickelson's third shot to the green was long, and he missed a delicate chip for his par. Havret barely missed the green on his approach, but nevertheless chipped to within five feet and drained his par putt for the title.
The Scottish Open is seen as a warm-up event for the British Open, which kicks off at Carnoustie in Scotland on Thursday.
July 16, 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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