ST. ANDREWS, Scotland, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- A week after being on the winning Ryder Cup team, Ireland's Padraig Harrington claimed the Dunhill Links Championship Sunday, defeating Eduardo Romero of Argentina on the second playoff hole at the Old Course.
Harrington forced a playoff with a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole and won it with a 15-footer at the second. The Irishman earned his first European Tour title of the season and the fifth of his career.
It also was Harrington's first victory in four playoffs. His most recent setback came against Vijay Singh at last year's Malaysian Open.
"I have lost plenty of playoffs before and lost plenty of tournaments," said Harrington, who began the week ninth in the World Golf Rankings. "So it means a lot to me to come through, especially in the playoffs."
Harrington also won the team portion of the pro-am event, combining with Irish race horse owner J.P. McManus to defeat Romero and Scottish attorney Neil Crichton by a stroke. Harrington thanked McManus for taking off some of the pressure.
"I knew that was a distraction for me to be able to help him," Harrington said. "It got me away from being moody and thinking about myself. Thinking about the team keeps you positive, keeps you upbeat."
"I knew I needed to win one of the big events in order to have a chance," said Harrington, who was second on the European Tour money list last season.
Harrington and Romero began the day tied for the lead and ended regulation that way when Harrington made a 20-foot birdie putt and Romero missed a four-footer to complete 3-under-par 69s.
"I made mistakes and didn't putt too good at the last two holes," said Romero, who won the Scottish tournament at Loch Lomond this season.
The two finished four rounds at 19-under 269, two strokes better than Singh and Scots Colin Montgomerie and Sandy Lyle. Montgomerie closed with a 63 and bogeyed the last hole. Singh bogeyed the 16th and 17th holes for a 70.
Els, who leads the Order of Merit, withdrew Sunday following the birth of his son.