• Grand Slam of Golf, Round Two

Harrington wins Grand Slam of Golf

ESPN staff
October 24, 2012
Padraig Harrington was a replacement for Ernie Els © Getty Images

Padraig Harrington proved an unlikely winner of the Grand Slam of Golf on Wednesday, winning the event by a single stroke in Bermuda.

The annual event pits the year's four major winners against one another, but two were not present this week. US PGA champion Rory McIlroy opted to play the BMW Masters - allowing Keegan Bradley to take his place, while Harrington replaced the injured Open winner Ernie Els.

The Irishman began the second day's play with a two-stroke lead over Bubba Watson, the Masters champion. And, after seeing that advantage cut down to one over the front nine by both Watson and US Open winner Webb Simpson, Harrington accelerated over the back nine to clinch victory with a score of nine-under.

Two birdies over the first half of the course provided Harrington with the solid start he targeted. He did little wrong but Simpson was pushing hard by reaching the turn in 32 strokes.

Harrington has not won on the PGA or European Tour since 2008, but 2012 has produced some noteworthy displays, with top-eight finishes at both The Masters and US Open. A birdie at the par-four 11th re-established his two-shot cushion, and he drained two more over the next couple of holes to extend his lead to four strokes.

With five to play Harrington was already a champion-in-waiting, and he cemented his maiden Grand Slam of Golf title despite Simpson closing the gap with a couple of late birdies to complete on eight-under.

Defending champion Bradley was the only man not to compete at any stage over the final day, backing up his opening 72 with a 67, although that did prove enough to finish level with Watson, whose 71 meant he also closed on three-under.

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