Padraig Harrington is headed for his best finish of the season after brilliantly posting a bogey-free 66 on day three of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland.
Harrington managed three outward birdies and just as many inward half birdies, including a ‘smelly’ four-footer on the last to end his round tied in 17th position with fellow Open Champion, Shane Lowry on thirteen under par.
Lowry buried any disappointment after earlier seeing Ireland lose to host nation, Japan at the Rugby World Cup, to birdie the opening five holes also at the Old Course.
The Clara golfer then moved to six-under par for his round with a birdie at the driveable par-4 ninth hole before a hattrick of birdies from the 13th to be then nine-under for his round with still three holes to play.
Unfortunately, Lowry bogeyed the 16th and then found himself in the notorious ‘Road Hole’ bunker at the next, where he also dropped a shot, before ending with a closing hole birdie.
Lowry’s 64 is his lowest return since a first round 62 on route to victory earlier this year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Harrington tees-up on day four ahead of his flight mid-Monday morning out of Edinburgh direct to Chicago for the 2020 Ryder Cup ‘Year to Go’ celebration at Whistling Straits in rural Wisconsin.
“A 66 was a good reward as I played well today, the key has been like most other weeks as I am giving myself plenty of chances,” he said.
“I managed to keep the ball nicely in play and now looking forward hopefully to a similar round tomorrow.”
Harrington’s best finish in 10 European Tour counting events this year was a T12th in the recent Porsche European Open and there was a funny incident as Harrington signed autographs in the area to the side of the first tee when his 16-year old son, Paddy was among the gathering.
Paddy’s working this week in the Tournament Office and as his father got closer he asked: “Any chance of some spare cash?”
Harrington reached out in jovial manner but Paddy was far too quick before returning to the nearby Tournament office.
Graeme McDowell, who played alongside Lowry, struggled in producing an Old Course 70 to miss the eight-under par cut-off mark by four shots at four-under par for his three rounds.
Meanwhile, Greystones’ Paul Dunne eagled the par-5 14th at Carnoustie in a round of 68 but being T119th at three-under par sadly meant missing an 11th cut in his 20 events this year.