Padraig Harrington shot an eventful 3-under-par 68 on Sunday and held on for a one-stroke victory at the Ascension Charity Classic in St. Louis.
The Irishman’s final score of 14-under 199 was enough to edge South Korea’s Y.E. Yang, who shot a final-round 66 to get to 13 under.
Harrington racked up eight birdies on the day but also double-bogeyed the par-3 fourth and made three bogeys over his last six holes, including No. 18. Still, Harrington secured his third win on the PGA Tour Champions, all of which have come over his past seven starts.
“Would have liked it to be simpler and it doesn’t matter as long as I get to stay out front, but it would be nice if it was just a little bit less stress,” Harrington said.
Harrington, playing his first full season on the 50-and-over circuit, remained in second place in the Charles Schwab Cup money standings. He drew within $134,000 of leader Steven Alker of New Zealand, making for a tight race as the season winds down in the fall.
“It was nice to win at the start, get that monkey off my back,” said Harrington, whose first senior tour win came at the U.S. Senior Open. “Then I started focusing on the Schwab Cup and the only way to catch Steve — he’s continued to play well — is to get wins myself.”
Yang made two bogeys and seven birdies, including three straight at Nos. 13-15. Somewhere along the back nine, he began to realize he had a chance.
“Maybe three, four holes before I (looked) to scoreboard (and saw) I still have a chance,” Yang said. “I tried to more attack the pin.”
But Harrington, who started the day with a one-shot lead, led by two shots on the par-4 18th tee and saved bogey in order to not fall into a playoff.
Steve Stricker (69 Friday) finished third at 12 under. Germany’s Bernhard Langer (70) was fourth at 11 under, and Alker (69) was part of a five-way tie for fifth at 10 under along with Clark Dennis (67), Bob Estes (68), John Huston (70) and South African Ernie Els (68).