Harrington trails Poulter by four


Golf:Pádraig Harrington was four shots off the clubhouse lead after his first round of the Players Championship at a sun-kissed TPC Sawgrass today. The Dubliner shot a three-under-par 69 to trail early leader Blake Adams by three, before England’s Ian Poulter signed for a 65 after five birdies on the back nine.

The Englishman was two under at the turn thanks to three birdies and a bogey, but three consecutive birdies from 10 and two more at 16 and 17 ensured he led the way this evening.

The 36-year-old from Adams, from Georgia, who has yet to win on the PGA Tour, fired five consecutive birdies prior to the turn before a bogey on the 10th and further birdies at 12 and 15.

South Korean-born American Kevin Na, who started on the backnine, was a stroke back at five-under after a 67, despite a double-bogey on the first hole, his 10th.

Former world number one Tiger Woods was two-over through 17 holes after mixing five bogeys with three birdies.

Harrington birdied three of the four par-fives and also picked up shots at the par-three third and 13th. There were bogeys at six and eight, however, meaning the three-time major winner had to settle for a 69.

Graeme McDowell (6.28pm) and Rory McIlroy (6.49pm) were due out this evening.