Bright start for Harrington in Fota

The Dubliner rewarded the early risers on the first day’s play at the Irish Open

Padraig Harrington on the par four 12th hole during the first round of the Irish Open at the Fota Island. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Padraig Harrington on the par four 12th hole during the first round of the Irish Open at the Fota Island. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Thu, Jun 19, 2014, 10:13

Padraig Harrington rewarded those spectators who made their way to Fota Island Golf Resort by producing some excellent golf in the early throes of the first round of the Irish Open.

The cloudless blue skies of yesterday were replaced by a low slung grey blanket but temperatures were still warm. A gallery of 3,000 made their way to 10th tee, Harrington’s first, to watch the marquee group that included world number six and future Irish Olympian Rory McIlroy, along with Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher.

Harrington birdied the par five, 10th and at the 14th, holed an excellent 20-foot putt to move to two under and a share of the early lead. McIlroy, who shot a 63 in yesterday’s Pro-Am, dropped shots at the 11th and 14th to slip to two over regulation figures.

The anticipated large galleries at the Cork venue had materialised even at that point in the early morning. Darren Clarke was also among the early starters and he offset a couple of bogeys with a birdie at the 15th, his sixth hole.

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