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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 3 March 2021

Harrington and McGinley use all their experience to battle the Scottish wind

The Irish pair are one shot off the early lead at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

Harrington in action at Kingsbarns today.
Harrington in action at Kingsbarns today.
Image: Getty Images

BOTH PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON and Paul McGinley carded five birdies apiece en route to a pair of 69s in the opening round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.

The Irish duo are sitting one shot off the early lead, which is held by England’s Matt Wallace and Australian Marcus Fraser on four-under par after a day of high winds. 

Harrington, fresh off his role as one of the victorious Ryder Cup vice-captains last week, hit the turn three-under on the links at Kingsbarns, but dropped shots on 10 and 16 set him back.

The Dubliner did, however, repair some of the damage with further birdies on 12 and 15 and he finished on three-under in a share for third alongside five players, including McGinley.

He too started his week at Kingsbarns and after bogeying the first, rebounded strongly with two birdies on the front-nine and another three on the home stretch, signing for a 69.

Wallace and Fraser have set the early pace having played St Andrew’s and Carnoustie on Thursday respectively, with Harrington and McGinley, South Korean Jinho Choi, Thai Phachara Khongwatmai and Austrian Matthias Schwab at three-under, a shot clear of a group including two-time defending champion Tyrrell Hatton and double reigning Major Champion Brooks Koepka.

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Shane Lowry carded a level-par round of 72 at Kingsbarns to sit in a tie for 25th, while Robin Dawson (+2), Graeme McDowell (+5) and Paul Dunne (+6) are further down the field.

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