Harrington is Mr Boring

By Brian Keogh

Padraig Harrington was Mr Boring as Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Phil Mickelson made a whacky races start to the Deutsche Bank Championship.

The birthday boy, 36, cruised to the turn in level par at TPC Boston as he mixed a birdie at the par three 16th with a three-putt bogey at the 17th.

But his reliable round was made to look totally pedestrian compared to the antics produced by the "dream" threeball of world No 1 Woods, No 3 Mickelson and No 10 Singh.

Out of sorts Singh FOUR-PUTTED the opening hole for a double bogey six, birdied the fourth but the ran up another double at the sixth and bogeyed the eighth to turn in four over par.

And Woods was almost as bad, making six at the par-five second and then taking three shots to extricate himself from a bunker at the fourth.

A double bogey six there left Woods on three over after four holes and a massive seven shots adrift of Mickelson, who started in whirlwind fashion.

The left hander birdied the par five second and then holed a 35 yard bunker shot for an eagle two at the driveable par-four fourth to go three under.

But after Woods birdied the sixth and seventh to get back to one over par, Mickelson made a complete mess of the par-four ninth.

After driving in the trees on the left, the risk-taking American finished up taking a triple bogey seven after attempting to thread his third shot between two tall trees.

The ball clipped a branch and finished up back in an unplayable lie in the "jungle" and after a penalty drop, Mickelson found the green but missed a 10 footer for a double bogey six.

That left him just one shot better than Woods through the turn and level with Harrington, who needs a big result to cut the deficit on leader Steve Stricker in the FedEx Cup play-offs.

Canada's Mike Weir and American Ryan Moore hit six under par 65s to lead in the clubhouse with Stricker just two behind after a 67.

Korean KJ Choi, who is second in the FedEx standings, shot a 73 but then withdrew with a back injury.