Harrington toasts success in beer, not champagne

Jul 23, 2007 - 12:36 PM By Mark Garrod Special to PA SportsTicker

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (Ticker) - Padraig Harrington woke up on Monday at 6am after two hours' sleep.

The first thing he did was look at the British Open claret jug at the end of the bed.

He looked at his wife, Caroline, and his first words were: "I'm the British Open champion."

Her first words were: "Yeah, can we go back to sleep?"

Harrington is no great drinker, and there was no sign of a hangover when he returned to Carnoustie to face the world's press again on Monday morning.

"The first drink I had out of the jug was beer," Harrington said. "There was some champagne as well, but I didn't need much. I was flying anyway. There was no need for any outside help.

"It's hard to describe. It's unreal. In quiet moments it's hard to take it in. I can't believe I've done it. I was in the shower and I said to myself 'I won the British Open championship'."

Harrington and his family flew back to Dublin Monday afternoon, not sure what reception awaited him. But he was ready to celebrate as much as anybody wanted him to.

"I'm in a good mood and I will be for the next week, the next year, the next 10 years," he said.

But Harrington, who only recently spoke of his desire to play less golf, admitted that with the victory will come some difficult decisions.

For starters he has an invitation to Hawaii in November for the Grand Slam involving all four of the year's major champions.

"There are a lot of complications, but I'm not going to worry about them for a couple of days. At the end of the week I'll start working on what I am going to do," Harrington said.

"But I want to do the British Open justice. Like being European No 1, I want to feel I carry the flag well. It carries responsibilities."

The wish to cut down on his schedule is all about making him better equipped to win majors - and he does not want winning one to be the end of the journey.

"Phil Mickelson got it right when he answered questions about when he was going to win a major by saying he wanted to win more than one," the 35-year-old said.

"I've always had it in my head that I am going to try to do the same. That should help me move on."

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