Padraig Harrington Tied for Irish Open Lead
They came out in droves to see the native son, winner of multiple Majors, do his work.
Great work, wrong native son.
On a day when No. 1 Rory McIlroy shot his worst round of the season, 43-year-old Northern Irishman Padraig Harrington surprised the field with a 4-under 67.
He’s tied for first with German’s Maximillian Kieffer. Three months ago, Harrington snapped an eight-year win drought by taking The Honda Classic title. His last victory that counts on the European Tour was the 2008 PGA Championship.
Harrington was rocky on the front nine, but money on the back. He was at even-par through nine holes and 1-over through 10, but hit successive birdies on 11-13, and two more on 15 and 16 to climb to the top of the leader board.
The 24-year-old Kieffer is after his first European Tour win. Ranked just 290th in the world, he’s off to a very nice start in 2015, ranked 56th in the Race to Dubai standings.
He’s finished in the Top 30 of six of his last seven tournaments, including tied for ninth at the Open de Espana and tied for eighth at the Africa Open.
Kieffer had a wild back nine, tallying an eagle, two bogeys and two birdies in a six-hole span, but his three birdies in the first six holes paved his way to the top of the leader board.
Little-known Danish golfer Soren Hansen is all alone in third at 3-under, with a three-way tie for fourth at 2-under featuring the UK’s Danny Willett, who is second in the Race to Dubai standings this year, thanks to his win at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, second-place finish at the Alfred Dunhill and recent third-place slot at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play.
Only 13 players total are under par after a day, while McIlroy actually stayed out of last place despite his 9-over 80. In the later rounds, Gregory Havret of France shot a 10-over 81 and Ireland’s Michael McDermott, perhaps showing why he’s ranked 1,401st in the world, staggered to an 11-over 82 featuring five, yes, FIVE, double-bogeys.