Skip to main content

Harrington sets early pace as McIlroy and Woods make solid starts to The Barclays

August 24, 2012 -- Updated 1133 GMT (1933 HKT)
Padraig Harrington tees off on the 12th at Bethpage Black on his way to a 64 in The Barclays.
Padraig Harrington tees off on the 12th at Bethpage Black on his way to a 64 in The Barclays.
  • Padraig Harrington sets early pace in The Barclays to lead by one shot
  • Irish star shoots seven-under 64 on Bethpage Black Course in New York
  • Tiger Woods on 68 with world No. 1 Rory McIlroy in clubhouse on 69
  • Defending champion Dustin Johnson on four-under 67

(CNN) -- Padraig Harrington rolled back the years to take the early lead in the first leg of the lucrative FedEx Cup playoffs, after firing a seven-under-par 64 in Thursday's opening round of The Barclays tournament in New York.

The 40-year-old Irishman has not won in the United States since claiming the 2008 PGA Championships, his third major title, but has shown signs of a revival this season.

He held a one-shot lead over Americans Nick Watney and Brian Harman going into Friday's second round on the Black Course at Bethpage, while Wyndham Championship winner Sergio Garcia was in a group tied for fourth on 66.

"I've been playing well for quite a while," Harrington told the official PGA Tour website. "But this is the best I've putted."

A stunning back nine of 29 capped a superb round on a tough layout which has hosted two U.S. Opens, helped by five successful putts from outside 10 feet.

The Barclays: Leaderboard

Only in America: Augusta admits women
Keys to Rory's PGA Championship victory
McIlroy: 'Doesn't get better than this'
Nicklaus: Tiger needs to be Tiger

With European captain Jose Maria Olazabal picking his Ryder Cup team Monday, Harrington knows this is the last chance to stake a claim for a wild card pick.

"I don't want to go in there and try too desperately to beg for a pick, or I don't want to go in there and give excuses for anything," Harrington said. "I'll just leave it be what it is. I'm just going to play golf."

Early starters prospered in good scoring conditions on the 7,468-yard course in New York State, including world No. 3 Tiger Woods and top-ranked new PGA champion Rory McIlroy, who were paired together with former Masters champion Zach Johnson.

Woods and Johnson both carded three under 68 to be tied for 14th along with England's world No. 2 Luke Donald, British Open champion Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson, with Northern Ireland's McIlroy on 69 tied for 26th in a group including world No. 4 Lee Westwood..

Spain's Garcia, whose victory at Greensboro last weekend clinched an automatic place in the European team to face the United States next month, was one shot ahead of a group including defending champion Dustin Johnson of the U.S.

The top 125 players in the PGA Tour standings qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs, which are held over four tournaments, The Barclays, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship and the 30-man finale, the Tour Championship -- with a $10 million bonus on offer for the overall winner.

Woods led the standings coming into the tournament, with McIlroy in third position, while Harrington was 62nd.

Meanwhile in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts, who needs to finish first or second to clinch his automatic place in the European team, made a good start with a three-under-par 69 which left him tied for eighth.

Brett Rumford of Australia and Norway's Knut Borsheim led after 67s.

Part of complete coverage on
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1449 GMT (2249 HKT)
There have been many dark days for Oliver Wilson, but golf's unluckiest loser is finally riding an upward swing of his career roller coaster.
October 7, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
They dress like it's the 1930s and they swing antique equipment that eschews cutting-edge technology -- this is hickory golf.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1609 GMT (0009 HKT)
CNN's Living Golf focuses on women's golf, charting the growth of the sport from royal pastime to multi-million dollar machine.
October 1, 2014 -- Updated 0846 GMT (1646 HKT)
"I don't know how to paint happy," says golf's poster girl Michelle Wie. "I think it releases a lot of the darker feelings in me."
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
Phil Mickelson of the United States talks during a press conference after the United States were defeated by Europe after the Singles Matches of the 2014 Ryder Cup on the PGA Centenary course at the Gleneagles Hotel on September 28, 2014 in Auchterarder, Scotland.
If you're a U.S. golf fan, or Tom Watson, look away now.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
A ban on uploading social media pictures from the course at Gleneagles was dropped for the Ryder Cup.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
A spot of shopping, the odd spa day and some serious flag waving. Welcome to the life of a Ryder Cup WAG.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1301 GMT (2101 HKT)
Tom Watson has learned plenty in the 21 years since he was last U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but social media is proving to be problematic.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1243 GMT (2043 HKT)
Patriotism will reach fever pitch when the USA and Europe collide in golf's Ryder Cup ... and it looks like Rickie Fowler has let it go to his head.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
Pressure is inescapable in the cauldron of Ryder Cup competition -- pressure and ping pong.
September 23, 2014 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
Millions of golf fans were watching on television with great anticipation. All Martin Kaymer could think about was getting his phone out.