Padraig Harrington found a way to take some of the attention away from Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy on Thursday at The Barclays. He made six birdies on the tough back nine of Bethpage Black and opened the FedEx Cup playoffs with a 7-under 64 for a one-shot lead in Farmingdale, N.Y.
And that surely got the attention of Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
Harrington has to rely on a captain’s pick to make his seventh straight European team, and that looks to be unlikely. Not only has the three-time major champion gone four years without winning against a strong field, but he and Olazabal also are not the best of friends.
Olazabal said during a news conference before the PGA Championship earlier this month that Harrington had to produce an “extraordinary” effort to be considered.
TSENG LEADS WOMEN
Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Canadian Women’s Open in suburban Vancouver, B.C.
Tseng had eight birdies and a double bogey at The Vancouver Golf Club. U.S. Women’s Open champion Na Yeon Choi was second.
Lydia Ko, a 15-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander who won the U.S. Women’s Amateur two weeks ago, was two strokes back.
BELGIAN MAKES BID
Nicolas Colsaerts shot a 3-under 69 at the Johnnie Walker Championship in Gleneagles, Scotland, leaving the Ryder Cup hopeful two shots behind the first-round leaders in the final event before the European team is chosen.
The big-hitting Belgian made five birdies to share eighth place.
Australia’s Brett Rumford and Norwegian playing partner Knut Borsheim led the way with 67s on Gleneagles Hotel’s PGA Centenary Course, where the 2014 Ryder Cup will be played.