Harrington’s 64 lights up the Barclays
TIGER Woods overshadowed playing partner Rory McIlroy, but Padraig Harrington stole the limelight by taking overall command in yesterday’s opening round of the Barclays tournament in Farmingdale, New York.
Irishman Harrington covered his final nine holes in a six-under-par 29 to card a seven-under 64 in the first of the PGA Tour’s four lucrative FedExCup playoff events.
Harrington piled up eight birdies and a lone bogey to finish a stroke in front of Americans Nick Watney and Brian Harman.
Spaniard Sergio Garcia, who ended a four-year title drought on the PGA Tour by winning the rain-delayed Wyndham Championship on Monday, opened with a 66, while Woods returned a 68 and McIlroy a 69.
Harrington, who also has one eye this week on earning a spot on the European Ryder Cup team, was delighted with his putting on the challenging, 7,468-yard Bethpage Black layout.
“This is the best I’ve putted, the best I’ve struck my putts, the best I’ve rolled the ball for a long period of time,” the 40-year-old Irishman said after taking only 26 putts.
Harrington conceded he had learned a lesson about the possibilities at a venue which has staged two US Opens from his American playing partner Troy Matteson, who eagled the fourth hole.
“Imagine making an eagle at a US Open,” said Harrington. “If anything, it really helped me because I could see that, ‘Hey, this wasn’t a US Open, there were birdies to be made.’
“So you have to get out of that mindset because level par isn’t winning the tournament this week,” added the Irishman.
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Monday 20 May 2013
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