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At least, Padraig Harrington's meltdown on the 18th on the final day of the British Open at Carnoustie yesterday didn't turn him into a laughingstock.

Harrington, who missed the cut at the U.S. Open and finished tied for seventh at the Masters, narrowly avoided Jean Van de Velde territory, winning a four-hole playoff over Sergio Garcia by a stroke to capture golf's third major of the year, after leading Sergio Garcia by a stroke going into the last hole of regulation. On the 72nd hole, Harrington parked two shots into the water of infamous Barry Burn for a double bogey, and was bailed out when Garcia, who had led for most of the tournament, missed a 10-foot putt for par, forcing the playoff.

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"I never let myself feel like I'd lost the Open championship as I sat watching [Garcia finish on TV]," Harrington said. "The one thing, I never, ever had it in my head that I'd lost. Now if Sergio had parred the last and I did lose, I think I would have struggled to come out and be a competitive golfer. It meant that much to me. But I never let it sink into me that I had just thrown away the Open championship on the 18th."

Meanwhile, you had to feel for the usually cocky Garcia, who kicked away his best chance to win a major in 33 tries. Time will tell whether he will ever be able to bounce back emotionally from his Sunday in Scotland.

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