Golf: Harrington makes most of late Grand Slam call-up
Padraig Harrington is halfway towards the £375,000 PGA Grand Slam title in Bermuda – just three days after being offered the chance to play.
The 41-year-old Dubliner started with a five-under-par 66 at Port Royal to lead Masters champion Bubba Watson by two, US Open winner Webb Simpson by three and holder Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy’s replacement, by six.
The event is meant to be between the year’s four major winners but, with McIlroy opting to play in Shanghai, Ernie Els pulling out with an ankle injury and reserves Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods turning it down – they are in Asia as well – Harrington received a call.
He grabbed seven birdies and would have been even more in control but for bogeys at the third and 16th, both par 3s.
Simpson came back into the picture with three back-nine birdies but then bogeyed the 431-yard last while Watson mixed an eagle and five birdies with four bogeys. Bradley was always fighting an uphill battle after he double-bogeyed the fourth and bogeyed the next two to stand four over.
Meanwhile, Raymond Russell is hoping to draw on past success at the Challenge Tour’s finale, the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, beginning today, as he sits just one place outside the cut-off point for qualification to the European Tour for next season. Two years ago, the Edinburgh-born 40-year-old entered the season-ending event in 21st place and in need of a good finish. Russell carded a third round of 69 and a 68 on the final day to creep inside the mark and secure a European Tour category for 2011 but has struggled with injury since.
He said: “I have been in this position before so I just have to try to draw on that. I did well that time around.
“There is probably a bit more pressure involved come Saturday but that is why you play the game.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
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