Harrington Heads Field in Portugal
The affable Irishman fired an 8-under-par 64 to grab the first-round lead in the $900,000 Algarve Portuguese Open.
This is Harringtons fourth start this season on the European Tour. In his three prior events, hes earned a pair of runner-up finishes and a tie for fifth.
Thats been Harringtons blessing ' and curse ' over the past three years.
Since 1999, the 29-year-old from Dublin has collected 13 top-3 finishes in Europe; however, only two of those have been wins.
In 99, Harrington recorded five runner-up finishes without a victory; still, he managed to eek into the final qualifying spot on the European Ryder Cup team.
Last year, the results were a bit more balanced ' two wins, two seconds and two thirds.
This year, Harrington finished second in the Malaysian Open, which was won by Vijay Singh. And after opening in 63 the following week, he slipped over the weekend to tie for fifth in the Singapore Masters, also won by Singh.
In his last European start, Harrington carded four sub-70 rounds, yet tied Tiger Woods for second place, two shots behind Dubai Desert Classic winner Thomas Bjorn.
Thursday, Harrington posted one eagle, eight birdies and a pair of bogeys en route to taking a two-shot lead over fellow Irishman David Higgins, Englishmen David Lynn and David Gilford, and Swedens Niclas Fasth.
After making the turn in 5-under-par 31, Harrington bogeyed the par-4 10th, but responded by birdieing the par-3 11th and sinking an 18-foot eagle putt at the par-5 12th.
Following a pair of birdies at the 14th and 17th holes, Harrington concluded his day with a bogey on the par-4 home hole.
'You can't complain,' said Harrington. 'I'm not going to allow that bogey to upset me. Today it was just a joy to be out there.'
Defending champion Gary Orr shot a 2-under-par 70 at Quinta do Lago. Colin Montgomerie wasnt as fortunate in the first round, shooting a 1-over-par 73.
Full-field scores from the Algarve Open de Portugal
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18