Sixty years after the last Irishman won the British Open, yesterday evening Padraig Harrington became the first player from the Republic to lift the famous Claret Jug.
It was an immensely exciting championship, with the result facing as many twists as the Barrie Burn which winds its way across Carnoustie’s closing holes.
Sergio García’s day will surely come. A day when the cellophane bridge above the hole will be far kinder to his ball than yesterday.
But it just wasn’t to be. As Sergio found out, it’s desperately hard to lead a major, wire to wire, and bring it home.
And as for Harrington – what a prize, and how richly earned it was. It was in the Walker Cup in 1995 that he first caught the eye, striding the rain-lashed Porthcawl links with a calm serenity that defied the weather.
Such confident, crisp iron shots and touch around the greens – a natural shotmaker, with a gift for nipping the ball sweetly from the seaside turf.
For years since then, he’s been getting better. A stalwart in every Ryder Cup, and for a year or two reaching number three and four in the world. Famous wins, around the globe, without ever scoring a major. An underestimated talent.
Until this year. That’s all changed now.
So enjoy your party, Padraig. You deserve it. And we’ll all be smiling with you.