Harrington chips his way into US Senior Open mix

Ronan MacNamara

Padraig Harrington (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Padraig Harrington has hit many great chips under pressure in his time and he had to rely on his short game as he carded a four under 68 at the US Senior Open.

Harrington registered five birdies and a bogey at Newport Country Club and is in a share of fourth place, three shots behind Richard Green and Hiroyuki Fujita who each shot 7-under 63.

The three time major champion scrambled for par five times out of six and had 26 putts on a day where his ball striking was off the mark.

“Clearly I scored well. Chipped well. I hit four long pitches in close. The one on 12 was like 38 yards, nearly holed it.

”The one on 16 was like 48 yards, hit it to five feet.

“The one on the first was like 35 yards off a wet fairway and I hit it to five feet.

”The putting was good no doubt about it and the chipping was excellent.”

Harrington is level with senior major debutant Lee Westwood while Darren Clarke is one under after a 69.

Milltown amateur Jody Fanagan is seven over.

Green and Fujita hold a one shot lead over local Rhode Island native Billy Andrade who shot a 65 in the tougher conditions.

“It’s late in the day and the wind was really whipping pretty good,” Andrade said. “Maybe tomorrow we’ll get lucky and it won’t blow as much. But I like it blowing. It fits my game very well when conditions are like this.

“When you go into these things, you don’t want to embarrass yourself. You don’t want to make a lot of bogeys and fight your game and all that stuff.

“Just a great, unbelievable, awesome day on a course that I absolutely love. I just love it here. I just love everything about it. I loved it when I was a little boy, and I love it now.”

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