Newly-crowned US Senior Open champ Padraig Harrington was not about to hang around for a lengthy fireside chat after a disappointing finish to his round on day one of the Genesis Scottish Open.
Harrington was one-under through 13 holes but then proceeded to bogey three in succession from the 14th and finished taking a double-bogey ‘6’ up the last in a score of a four-over 74 in bright conditions on the par-70 Renaissance lay-out to the east of Edinburgh.
Harrington was at two-over playing the last but then sent his second shot right of the green but then got a flyer that flew the green to land in semi-rough from where he chipped to some 20-yards shy of the flag and horribly three-putted.
No such trouble for visiting American Cameron Tringale who matched the tournament course record low with a sizzling nine-under-par 61, and with Austrian Bernd Wiesberger having shot a second round 61 in the 2019 event but with the course then playing to a par-71.
The 55th world ranked Tringale capped his score with six birdies in succession from the 10th hole.
Tringale heads the historic co-sanctioned DP World and PGA Tour field by three shots, and with former US Open champion, Gary Woodland signing for a six-under 64.
South African Justin Harding, and sent out in the first group as a two-ball due to his LIV Golf connection, thumbed his nose at the DP Tour World’s actions in signing for an impressive five-under 65.
The 35-year-old Harding, who has won 11 times in his pro career including twice on the European Tour.
Harding is one of four players who were granted legal permission to tee-up in Scotland.
“I’ve tried my best at keeping it all to one side,” said Harding.
“I’m by no means a fighter. I’m not confrontational either. It’s an awkward situation but we just have to make the best of it.”
Harding, Ian Poulter and Adrian Otaegui appealed the European tour’s decision to ban them from the Scottish Open for violating joint DP World/PGA Tour tournament regulations as playing members in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series. Branden Grace, who was also barred from playing the event, was also added to the field because of the ruling earlier this week by Sport Resolutions in the UK.
“I always thought it would be a bit tricky to be competing this week and I didn’t quite realize it was going to get blown up quite as much as this,” Harding said. “I have to be honest, I thought it might have been handled a little bit better by all parties.”
Although singled-out by event organisers to tee-up in the first group, and on both sides of the draw for the opening two rounds, it came to light after his round that Harding does not have a formal contract with LIV Golf.
It could open yet another can of worms as Harding is also not a PGA Tour member and, as such, he was not suspended for playing the LIV events, but then could earn full PGA Tour status if he were to win this week.
In a memo sent to players this week, the PGA Tour outlined how the British court’s ruling might impact its handling of the LIV players. The circuit explained that players will still be awarded FedExCup points for their finish at the Scottish Open and next week’s Open Championship but, because of the suspensions, would not be eligible to participate in the playoffs.
“We will ensure that their participation will not negatively impact your tournament eligibility, your position in the priority rankings or your eligibility to compete in the FedExCup playoffs,” the memo stated.
Jonathan Caldwell, and the only other Irish golfer in the Scottish field, signed for a one-over 71.