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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
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Pádraig Harrington enjoys fine first round at the Irish Open

The three-times Major winner is only one shot off clubhouse leader Mark Foster, while Graeme McDowell had an inconsistent opening round.

Image: ©INPHO/Presseye/Andrew Paton

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON SITS just one shot off the lead at the Irish Open following an impressive opening round of 67 at Royal Portrush.

The Dubliner got his week off to the perfect start by shooting six birdies and just a single bogey, coming home on the tricky links course in just 33.

Harrington, ironically, had said on Wednesday that it would be ‘ridiculous’ to bet on him winning his home tournament.

A number of players joined the Portmarnock man on five-under for the tournament – one shot behind clubhouse leader Mark Foster – including Keith Horne, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts and the defending champion Simon Dyson.

Graeme McDowell had a wildly inconsistent round, opening with a bogey but reaching two-under after five holes.

The former US Open champion, who had started on the tenth, seemed to get a foothold before bogeying the seventh. He finished on a one-under-par 71.

Michael Hoey carded a 70, while Rory McIlroy got his first round under way at 12.50pm.

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