PALM HARBOR, Fla. – A 61 is a terrific score at any PGA Tour event. At Innisbrook, home of the demanding Copperhead Course, a 61 is close to unfathomable. But that's what Padraig Harrington posted Thursday afternoon. The 10-under start gave Harrington a whopping four-shot lead as the afternoon half began play in the opening round of the Transitions Championship.
Harrington also claimed sole ownership of the course scoring record previously held by Jeff Sluman (2004) and Mark Calcavecchia (2007). As for the vaunted Snakepit – the three-hole closing stretch regarded as one of the toughest on Tour – Paddy finished birdie-birdie-birdie. That he hit just six of 13 fairways should tell you something about this year's playing conditions: The rough isn't nearly as testy as it has been at prior gatherings.
A few players were half-kiddingly complaining about the lack of mean grass Wednesday. No, Harrington wasn't one of them.
Hawkins is a contributing writer with more than two decades of journalism experience.
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