Alex Cejka wins in the rain and wind at The Senior Open Championship
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Written by The Associated Press
BRIDGEND, Wales -- Germany’s Alex Cejka prevailed over Ireland’s Padraig Harrington on the second playoff hole to win The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex at Royal Porthcawl on Sunday.
Cejka birdied the second extra hole to claim his third PGA TOUR Champions major title after he and Harrington had finished tied on 5-over par following a final round played in miserable wet and windy conditions.
Harrington, who also finished runner-up to Darren Clarke last year, narrowly missed an eagle putt on the first extra hole and could only make par when the players returned to the 18th after duffing a chip from the back of the green.
Overnight leader Cejka began the final round with a double bogey on the first and dropped another shot on the fourth, but battled back to hold a two-shot lead with two holes to play.
A bogey on the 17th halved the 52-year-old Cejka's advantage and Harrington birdied the last to force extra holes.
“What a day,” Cejka said at the presentation ceremony. “I still can’t believe that I’m here. Beating Padraig in a playoff, such a great player, but I’m glad I did it and I’m super happy.”
Cejka carded a final round of 76 and Harrington returned a 75, with South Korea's Y.E. Yang and American Rob Labritz the only players able to match the par of 71.
Harrington, who also lost a playoff to Steve Stricker at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in May, said: “What’s annoying is I seem to only play well when there’s an urgency."
He added: “I chipped really poorly all week, I had a terrible time. I don’t think I’ve ever played a tournament where I’ve chipped this badly. I took several double-bogeys where I would normally be taking pars.”
Not a single player broke par over the weekend and the 5-over total required for a place in the playoff was the same as the halfway cut.
Former top-ranked Vijay Singh finished two shots outside the playoff following a closing 77.
Steven Alker, who led at the halfway stage, shot a 10-over 81 to finish tied for 11th.
The tournament is the last of five majors on the PGA TOUR Champions schedule.