Sport Golf

Friday 30 September 2016

Harrington finishes with flourish

William S Callahan

Published 14/03/2016 | 02:30

Ireland's Padraig Harrington shot a flawless final round of 70 on the last day of the Valspar Championships in Florida. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Ireland's Padraig Harrington shot a flawless final round of 70 on the last day of the Valspar Championships in Florida. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Padraig Harrington heads for this week's Hero Indian Open with a spring in his step after shooting a flawless final round of 70 on the last day of the Valspar Championships in Florida.

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The 44-year-old carded 17 pars and one solitary birdie, on the par-three eighth hole to finish this American swing with a two-over par total.

Harrington, who is 130th in the world rankings, is off to India this week and cannot gain enough ranking points to qualify for the Masters. His only hope of qualifying for Augusta for a 15th time is to win the Shell Houston Open, March 31-April 3

Meanwhile, Australia's Scott Hend held off a brilliant challenge from Thailand's Piya Swangarunporn to make amends for last year's near-miss and win the True Thailand Classic.

Hend carded a closing 68 at Black Mountain GC to finish 18 under par, one shot ahead of world No 798 Swangarunporn, who had surged through the field with a course-record 63.

Swangarunporn began the day six shots off the lead but wiped out that deficit with six birdies and an eagle in the first 14 holes, before another birdie on the 18th set an imposing clubhouse target.

A birdie on the 14th took Hend back into a tie for the lead and he went in front with another birdie at 17; he could afford to three-putt the 18th for par and secure a second European Tour title.

"Last week I did not really have any patience and this week I just hung in there," said Hend, who only arrived in Thailand at 1am on Wednesday after making the long journey from Miami, where he shot 22 over par to finish 63rd in the WGC-Cadillac Championship.

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