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Harrington doing handstands after opening 67

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Padraig Harrington didn’t have much confidence entering the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. But after opening in 5-under 67, he was doing handstands – metaphorically speaking.

'I shot 67 doing handstands today,' Harrington told reporters. 'Sometimes you do that when your expectations are low.

'Today I wasn't very confident going into the tournament so anything was going to keep me happy out there and I'm pleased with the score.'

Harrington, winless on the European Tour since 2008, chose not to fret on the handful of missed opportunities he had to tie or claim the outright lead. Instead, he was satisfied with his performance and relatively good health.

'I had the flu all week in Hong Kong,' he said. 'I played two rounds of golf but the rest of it I spent holed up in bed trying to recover.

'I suffered a bit of a relapse this Tuesday. I still have a bit of a cough so I won't be doing too much practice this week, just taking it easy.'

Harrington trails leader Luke Donald by two strokes.