Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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SOUTHPORT, England - Padraig Harrington never tires of reading the fine print on the silver claret jug, and as he stood up from a table Monday morning at Royal Birkdale, he slowly turned golf's oldest trophy to see his name on consecutive rows.
There were 126 names. It's also worth noting what wasn't on the jug.
'I don't think this champion has anything to worry about with asterisks etched next to his name,' Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson said. 'He proved that last year.'
The bluster at the start of this British Open was whether the winner should get full credit because Tiger Woods couldn't play. That was long forgotten after Harrington shot a 32 over his final nine holes in 30 mph wind to follow Woods as a back-to-back champion.
The only question is how much more the Irishman can achieve.
'Winning the first major last year ... the reflection on that was, 'Guys have won one major. Let's try to set yourself apart and win two,' Harrington said Monday after his four-shot victory moved him up to No. 3 in the world.