Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington was the best of the Irish after day one at the PGA championship. Harrington having won the PGA back in 2008, edging out Spaniard Sergio Garcia started strongly with an opening round 71.
Canadian Cory Connors led at the end of the day shooting a five under par 67, two clear of second. The Ocean course was wreaking havoc with golfers with high winds and firm conditions with -2 making the top 10.
Harrington began his round strongly with six pars in a row to start his day. His first birdie followed on the seventh par 5 after being on the green for eagle with a long 32 footer. He then went onto make his first bogey at the tenth hole after compiled errors lead to a three putt.
A short wedge in from 100 yards was over hit leaving a monster 50 foot putt to the hole. His putt then pulled up six feet short as he went onto miss it coming back. Harrington got his round back on track at the par 5 eleventh with a great bounce back eagle.
A long 327 yard drive then allowed him to reach in two leaving an 20 foot eagle putt from the fringe. It was a fantastic momentum putt as he faced the brutal stretch of holes of 14 to 18.
He managed to negotiate the closing stretch in one over with the only blip on the par 5 sixteenth. Speaking after the round he feels like he’s mentally back to his best heading into round 2.
‘I’ve given myself the chance to get myself mentally in place as I would have done back in my heyday and not worry so much about the physical side.
Mixed day for the Irish
Meanwhile, for the rest of the Irish players, it was of a mixed golf. Shane Lowry carded at one over 73, finishing in the middle of the pack at tied 41st.
His good work for the first round was undone at the seventheeth as he stepped up at level par. A poor tee shot found the water, resulting in a double bogey on the difficult par 3.
Rory Mcilroy carded his joint worst round at a PGA Championship with three over. He got off to a horror start with a double bogey after his opening tee shot found the water. It was a disappointing day after so much was expected of him after coming off a win at the Wells Fargo.
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