PADRAIG HARRINGTON saw off a late surge from Steve Stricker to win the US Senior Open and his first senior Major.
The 50-year-old was eight ahead of Stricker on 11-under at one stage, but the 2021 US Ryder Cup captain clawed his way back to shoot a closing 65, forcing the Dubliner to sweat on the final day.
Harrington saw his lead reduced to just one when he bogeyed the 10th and 11th and Stricker birdied the 12th, 14th and 17th.
Harrington would then hit a 30-foot birdie putt on the 15th.His par at the 17th secured his first win since the 2016 Portugal Masters.
"I think it's special for me to win this one just because I've never won a USGA (United States Golf Association) event," he said.
"I think that adds more than if you could turn around and win a different senior major. But because I was never a US Open champion or a junior champion, it's great to come and win the senior one. It adds something that I never had in my career."
The double Open winner also went into detail as to why he didn't attend the regular tour.
"I want to win big events, and I want to win the majors on the Champions Tour.
"You go out on the regular tour, and if you're not winning the tournament, and might be finishing 30th or 40th, it's a struggle. You come here, and you've got the crowds cheering you on, rooting for you, rooting against you in places.
"It's why we do it. And my caddie kept reminding me of that as were going along - 'Would you want to be anywhere else?' As tough as it is coming down the stretch with a one-shot lead, he kept reminding me, 'Would you want to be anywhere else? You would have taken this at the start of the week'.
Harrington now joins the likes of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Lee Trevino and Jack Nicklaus in a group that includes sole winners in The Open and US Senior Open.
Harrington is a three-time major winner, claiming The Open in 2007 and 2008 as well as the US PGA Championship in 2008.