Top 10 British Open Moments
By Paul Mahoney
1. Padraig Harrington's 72nd hole
Harrington nearly outdid a certain Frenchman by finding the water twice, but he saved double bogey and won the playoff to redeem himself. Harrington's despair on the 18th green was broken by his son Paddy running out for a hug. If you didn't get a lump in your throat watching that scene, check your pulse.
2 of 10Fred Vuich/SI
8. Rory McIlroy's first round
The world's scariest course, right? So what was an 18-year-old beanpole (who looks 13) from Northern Ireland doing shooting three under par to put himself on the leaderboard above Tiger? Answer: he's from Holywood. Pronounced Hollywood. And he's going to be a superstar.
3 of 10David Cannon/Getty Images
7. The R&A
The blazers from St. Andrews put on another stunning British Open that should make the committees at the U.S Open and the Masters take notice. Carnoustie was the star of the show, tough but fair and yielding just the right number of birdies. But the R&A wasn't perfect, as their members still managed to look like bumbling dinosaurs after one Dodo was sent home for telling racist jokes at a pretournament dinner hosted by the media. Then one of the group's officials failed to lift TV cables lighter than Victoria Beckham, which allowed Tiger Woods an easy drop. Way to go, chaps.
4 of 10John Biever/SI
6. Boo Weekly
The alligator-wrangling, tobacco-chewing free spirit from the Florida panhandle was adopted by the British golf fans and became Boo Daily in those crazy tabloids. Boo asked the former champion Paul Lawrie how he had qualified. When the nice lady from the BBC said to him: "You are obviously aware of the traditions of this tournament going back over 100 years," he stared blankly and replied: "No ma'am." You The Man, Boo. Finally, some color in a sea of beige.
5 of 10Matt Dunham/AP
5. Tiger's O.B. duck hook at the 1st in round 2
You had to look again at the replay just to make sure you weren't watching a video of yourself at last weekend's society golf outing. Makes you kind of proud to know the world's finest golfer can look like a hacker, too.
6 of 10Robert Beck/SI
4. Andres Romero's Sunday back nine
Six birdies and two double bogeys, and a bogey at the last that knocked the Argentine out of the playoff. He went from zero to hero to zero again in a round that featured 10 birdies. Had he avoided the doubles, it would have been the greatest winning round in major championship history. What the heck did he have for breakfast? It wasn't porridge.
7 of 10David Cannon/Getty Images
10. Harrington's Sunday night press conference
Angel Cabrera needed an interpreter for his press conference after the U.S. Open, and Harrington needed one on Sunday. The Irishman's squeaky Dublin accent makes him sound like he just took a pull off a helium balloon. His son Paddy sat on the stage and terrorized the poor R&A chap by playing with the claret jug and bending the microphones. Good lad, Paddy.
8 of 10John Biever/SI
3. Sergio Garcia lips out
The stuff of dreams. A 10-footer at the last hole to win the British Open. Yes, yes, yes, hang on, yes, no, no, aaarrrrggghhh! "I still don't know how that par putt stayed out," a distraught Garcia said afterward.
9 of 10OptimizeGolf
2. The 18th hole
Quite simply the most brutal finishing hole in golf. You just knew the ghost of Jean Van de Velde was going to spook the hell out of anyone who stood on the tee or got anywhere near that snaking Barry Burn. The average score for the 499-yard, par-4 hole was 4.611. That's a par five, for pity's sake.
10 of 10Jon Super/AP
9. The weather
Rain of Biblical proportions on Monday morning reminded all those tanned PGA pros who had just jetted in that they were in Angus, Scotland, and not Scottsdale, Ariz. Ark-building, rain gear and extra sweaters were the order of the day. It drizzled pretty much all week until the sun burst through for the presentation ceremony. As everyone got the hell out of town on Monday morning, it was blue skies and bathing suits. Figures. Tulsa here we come.
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