Padraig Harrington takes five shot lead at US Senior Open

‘I’ve given myself plenty of options to win this tournament. That’s the important thing’

Padraig Harrington of Ireland fired a five-under-par 66 on Saturday to expand his lead to five strokes at the US Senior Open in Pennsylvania.

Harrington sits at 11 under, five strokes ahead of Gene Sauers (68) and Rob Labritz (69). Harrington owned a one-shot lead after 36 holes. His 66 tied for the low round of the day at Saucon Valley Country Club.

Ernie Els (67) sits alone in fourth, seven shots back.

Harrington posted his lowest 54-hole score (202) on the Champions Tour in pursuit of his first victory on the circuit.

The 50-year-old came back to the field with two bogeys in his last four holes, including on the 18th. Those were the only stains on a round that included five birdies and an eagle.

"I'm not really sure what to think," Harrington said. "I know I missed some chances out there to be lower, and I know I got a few breaks here and there and did some good stuff.

"I know, when it comes to this course with a five-shot lead, I've given myself plenty of options to win this tournament. That's the important thing. When you've got a lead like this, in not even a perfect world, but in dreamland, you think you're going to go out there and play well and run away with it, which is a possibility," he added.

Sauers knows he's going to need some breaks to have a chance at the title Sunday.

“Like I say, in a major championship, hit fairways and give yourself opportunities. Hit the greens and hoping that – I don’t want to say anything bad, but hopefully they kind of mess up a little bit,” Sauers said. “Somewhere along this line I’m going to need to have a two-shot swing from somewhere in the middle of the round somewhere just to keep me going.”

Jim Furyk posted the day’s other 66, vaulting 39 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 15th at even par.