bethpage black

Hot streak: Harrington birdies four straight to lead The Barclays

The Dubliner carded a seven-under par 64 on day one in New York. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy are four and five shots back.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON PRESENTED the best possible case for his inclusion in Jose Maria Olazabal’s Ryder Cup squad today.

The Dubliner shot  a seven-under par 64 at the Bethpage Black course in Long Island, a score which sees him take the early lead of a stellar field at The Barclays tournament .

After two opening pars, Harrington picked up a bogey, but instantly cancelled that out with a birdie on his fourth hole.

Harrington got himself under par by the turn thanks to a seventh-hole birdie. He would go on to birdie six of the back nine, including an extraordinary run of four-in-a-row from the 11th to the 14th.

Harrington is a shot clear of the USA’s Nick Watney and Brian Harman with Nick Christian and Sergio Garcia a stroke further back on five-under.

Rory McIlroy, partnered with Tiger Woods (-3) for the first time on the PGA tour, is five shots back following a bumpy round which saw him reside at +2 after six holes.

There was less to shout about for McIlroy’s countryman, Graeme McDowell. The 2010 US Open Champion is four-over par after a disastrous front nine containing; two birdies sandwiched between a double bogey on both the third and seventh hole.

Unlike Harrington and McIlroy, G-Mac failed to take a low score from the back nine, picking up two further bogeys before putting a gloss on the scorecard with a birdie at the last.

Vuelta á Espana: Rodriguez makes the most of his red letter day