Padraig Harrington admitted he discovered Lahinch simpler than anticipated after making a quick begin to the Dubai Responsibility Free Irish Open.
The Ryder Cup captain carded his lowest opening spherical in 18 years on the European Tour, with a seven-under 63 giving him a one-shot benefit over South Africa’s Zander Lombard.
Harrington missed the beginning of the season with a wrist damage and arrived in Ireland with three missed cuts in his previous 4 begins, however was happy to make an encouraging begin.
“Every week feels like my first week out, trying to find my game, but links golf suits me because you can really work your way around,” Harrington stated.
“I had impartial expectations. I simply needed to take inventory of my recreation and didn’t anticipate a 63, nevertheless it was a little bit of a stroll within the park. I’ve labored lots more durable to shoot 73, that is for certain.
“It was buzzing on the market and it might solely be bettered if I did it on Sunday, however when you do not do one thing on Thursday you will not be round for Sunday anyway. All this does is create plenty of situations the place I can go on and win this event.”
Lombard birdied 4 of his final 5 holes to submit a six-under 64 and seize outright second, with Eddie Pepperell within the group two strokes off the tempo on his return from damage.
“I wasn’t anticipating that,” said Pepperell, who has not featured since the PGA Championship in May. “I’ve been off for a very long time and it wasn’t like I was completely flushing it in apply.