By Bernie McGuire, Yas Links, Abu Dhabi.
Padraig Harrington was pleased to ensure himself a first pay cheque of a new season despite the hiccup of an opening hole double on day two of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Harrington, and off the 10th tee at Yas Links, regrouped to birdie his second and fifth holes ahead of bogeys on 12 and 15 before picking-up a third birdie of his round at his 16th in a one-over-par 73.
The Dubliner had finished late on Thursday with the sun very much in sunset mode whereas it was an early 7.50am (Local time) start to his second round in a first tournament of the New Year for Harrington.
It’s just also unfortunate Harrington ended day one three-putting the 18th and proceeded to do the same at his first hole of his second round.
The 51-year-old headed to lunch at three-under in total and just outside the top-40 in this record-breaking $US 9m event, and a first Rolex Series backed event of the season.
“It was very much a different day this morning with the sun shining, compared to late yesterday when it was getting windier, colder and darker,” Harrington said.
“I played lovely and every bit as well as yesterday but it was just a shame to double the first as I played a superb second shot, so it could have been a lot better really.
“I did struggle with my focus on a few short putts and it is my first event of the season though there’s nothing to say that it doesn’t happen also mid or late season.
“It’s not as though I feel rusty because I was surprised yesterday how good I played. I hit three nice long pitch shots that were all down the pin out there today that I was making birdies off them in Wednesday’s pro-am but not this morning.
“It was just the way it was and, like all golfers say, I should have been comfortably holing them and lying four, five or six-under.
“I probably got the worst out of the day I should have but at least I’m through to the weekend, and as we all know in this game, it’s nice to playing on the weekend.”
Indeed, it’s the third time in as many years that Harrington has been contesting the Abu Dhabi event and made the cut.
- Full scoring HERE