LAHINCH, Ireland — Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington shot a 7-under 63 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead over Zander Lombard in the opening round of the Irish Open.
With Rory McIlroy avoiding the tournament as he gets ready for the British Open at Royal Portrush in his native Northern Ireland, the 47- year-old Harrington rapidly ended up being a crowd favorite in his national open, which he previously won in 2007.
Harrington, making just his eighth start worldwide this year due to the fact that of a wrist injury, made eight birdies and a bogey at Lahinch, an Alister Mackenzie-designed links on Ireland’s West coast. He closed out his round by blasting from a deep greenside bunker to 4 feet for birdie on the par-5 18 th.
” I ‘d chosen to have actually shot 63 on Sunday, however the way I have actually been going this year, I haven’t played that many Sundays, so I required an excellent rating in the first round,” Harrington said.
Harrington hasn’t won because the Portugal Masters in 2016.
” Out there today, I remained in a great location. Head remained in a good location. Advantages were taking place. Struck great deals of nice shots. I understand I do not need to play as well as that for the next 3 days. It would be great if I did, however we’ll just go out there and attempt and do more of the exact same,” Harrington said. “If nothing excellent happens for the next 3 days, so be it. I know I’m on the best track.”
Lombard closed with 3 straight birdies for a 64.
Wade Ormsby, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, Hyowon Park, Thorbjorn Olesen, Lee Slattery, Eddie Pepperell and Chris Paisley each shot65 Shane Lowry of Ireland, who won the Irish Open as an amateur in 2009, was part of a group at 66 that also included Martin Kaymer, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.
The leading three finishers inside the top 10 who have actually not currently received the British Open will make spots in the field at Royal Portrush.