PGA Grand Slam of Golf: Padraig Harrington leads after first round in Bermuda
Last Updated: October 23, 2012 9:16pm
Padraig Harrington: Leading after first round of Grand Slam
Late replacement Padraig Harrington took his opportunity to play in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf with both hands as he led after the first round in Bermuda.
Just three days after being offered the chance to play, Harrington leads the four-man field after making a flying start to his tournament.
The 41-year-old Dubliner lost play-offs at Mid-Ocean in 2007 and 2008 when he took part after winning his major titles.
This time he started with a five-under-par 66 at Port Royal to lead Masters champion Bubba Watson by two, US Open winner Webb Simpson by three and holder Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy's replacement, by six.
The event is meant to be between the year's four major winners, but with McIlroy opting to play in Shanghai, Ernie Els pulling out with an ankle injury and reserves Graeme McDowell and Tiger Woods turning it down - they are in Asia as well - Harrington received a call.
Eighth behind Watson at Augusta and fourth to Simpson in San Francisco, he grabbed seven birdies and would have been even more in control but for bogeys at the third and 16th, both par threes.
Simpson came back into the picture with three back-nine birdies but then bogeyed the 431-yard last while left-hander Watson, his Ryder Cup partner, mixed an eagle and five birdies with four bogeys.
Bradley, who last year beat McIlroy, Darren Clarke and Charl Schwartzel, was always fighting an uphill battle from the time he double-bogeyed the fourth and bogeyed the next two to stand four over.