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Harrington makes strong start to be two shots off lead at The Senior Open in Scotland

A first round 66 for last month’s US Senior Open winner.

Padraig Harrington (file photo).
Padraig Harrington (file photo).
Image: PA

PADRAIG HARRINGTON SHOT a four-under 66 in the first round of The Senior Open today at Gleneagles in Scotland.

Harrington is part of a group in a tie for fifth after his first round, two shots behind leader Stephen Ames who carded a 64.

England’s Paul Broadhurst is a shot back on five-under in second, alongside Americans Jerry Kelly and Kent Jones. 

Paul McGinley shot a one-over-par 71, while the other Irish player, Sean Fitzgerald, is six-over.

A brilliant back nine that featured five birdies propelled Harrington up the leaderboard. He dropped a shot on the par-three 5th before picking up a shot on the 9th saw him reach the turn in level par.

That return on the 9th was the start of four birdies in five holes and he walked off the 10th, 11th and 13th in a positive frame of mind. He moved to four-under with a birdie on the 16th, gave that shot back on the 17th before finishing on an upbeat note with a birdie on the par-five 18th.

Harrington is in action a week after playing at St Andrews for the 150th Open. A second round 78 put paid to his chances of making the weekend there as he missed the cut. It was a disappointing outcome after a first round 69 and two early birdies on Friday lifted him to five-under, before his challenge unravelled.

Last month saw Harrington win the US Senior Open to go with his three Major wins on the regular tour – the 2007 and 2008 Open Championships, and the 2008 US PGA.

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Fintan O'Toole

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