Harrington with solid start as Villegas leads in Texas

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Harrington with solid start as Villegas leads in Texas : The Ryder cup captain had a solid start in Texas carding a two under par first round.

Padraig Harrington came into this week in mixed form having missed three cuts from his last eight tournaments. Since contacting covid his last two tournaments have steadily seen improvement with a narrowly missed cut and a tied 56th finish.

However, this week at the Valero Texas Open, the Dubliner has started well with a steady two under par. The first round of 70 leaves him just inside the top 20 at TPC San Antonio. Starting on the back nine, Harrington opened his account with a birdie on the eleventh.

His 118 yard wedge was stuck inside three feet for his first birdie of the day. He followed with his first bogey on the thirteenth par 3 after a poor bunker shot resulted in a two putt. The 49 year old was back under par after holing a tricky 12 footer on the sixteenth par 3.

On his back nine, Harrington made another birdie on the second par 5 after two wayward shots. A poor drive and a poor second shot left him an awkward angle into the green.

He managed to get on the green 21 feet away, with a difficult sloping putt, which he managed to convert.

Harrington followed up with another birdie on the par 3 third, making some real momentum in tough windy conditions.

However, this was derailed after making a bad bogey on the fifth, missing a par putt inside three feet. The three time major winner fought back immediately with birdie on the sixth before making a disappointing bogey on the ninth.

The two under par round gives Harrington a good platform going into the weekend.

Villegas leads the way

Elsewhere it was Columbia’s Camillo Villegas that leads the pack after a magnificent round of 64. Despite making bogey on his first hole, he managed to recover making five birdies in his opening twelve holes.

His blistering back nine shot him into the lead by two after birding the 12th,13th,14th and 18th.  The Columbian leads with Sung Kang and Cameron Tringale in second place on six under par.

Villegas is a four time PGA Tour winner, but hasn’t victorious since 2014. Speaking after the round the Columbian wasn’t getting ahead of himself with such as long way to go.

“I played really good, but I also got a couple nice breaks, made a couple of good par saves, and overall it was very solid.

But it’s only Thursday, so we’ve just got to keep patient, keep doing what we’re doing and have fun out there.”

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