Pádraig Harrington makes a solid start to US Senior Open

Pádraig Harrington has made a solid start to the US Senior Open at Newport Country Club in Rhode Island, shooting a four-under-par 66 in his opening round, three shots off the clubhouse lead of Japan’s Hiroyuki Fugita and Australia’s Richard Green.

The Irish golfer, a winner of this tournament in 2022, started on the 10th and made two birdies on his opening nine before another at the first hole, and holed from the bunker for a fourth birdie of the day on the second, his 11th of the round. One more birdie followed on the fourth hole before a dropped shot on the fifth after he failed to get up-and-down. Harrington, who won last week on the Champions Tour, was tied third when he signed his card, in touching distance of the lead.

Also on four-under-par of the late starters is Lee Westwood, the 51-year-old playing in his first senior Major. The LIV golfer is looking to follow in the footsteps of Richard Bland, who won the Senior PGA Championship last month.

In the field among the later starters are Darren Clarke and Jody Fanagan, an amateur golfer who played with Harrington and beat Tiger Woods in the 1995 Walker Cup. “I’m just going to enjoy myself,” Fanagan said before the round. “With Harry on the bag (his son), I never thought I’d be here. This is bonus stuff. So I love it.”

On the DP World Tour, Tom McKibbin made an average start, shooting level par at the Italian Open, seven shots behind leaders Gunner Wiebe, Sebastian Friedrichsen and Andrea Pavan.

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