Harrington puts best foot forward with lowest round in 14 months

Harrington puts best foot forward with lowest round in 14 months
 Pádraig Harrington was in relaxed mood before the start. Picture by  Khalid Redza /   AsianTour.com

Pádraig Harrington was in relaxed mood before the start. Picture by  Khalid Redza /  AsianTour.com

Pádraig Harrington got his bid for a first win for four years off to an ideal start when he shot a seven under par 64 — his lowest round for 14 months — in the BANK BRI Indonesia Open.

The Dubliner made eight birdies and just one bogey, single-putting 10 times in a 26-putt round, to end his day a stroke behind first round leader Kalem Richard of Australia at Damai Indah Golf's PIK Course in Jakarta.

  Picture by  Khalid Redza /    AsianTour.com

Picture by  Khalid Redza /  AsianTour.com

Harrington's most recent win came on the Asian Tour in 2010, when he won the Iskandar Johor Open in Malaysia. But despite making such a positive start, he's not getting ahead of himself

Told it was his low round of the year so far (by two shots), Harrington said: "I wasn't really thinking in those terms. It was a good round of golf, I played nicely and made some good opportunities.

"I got a quick start and hit two eight irons on the first two holes to four feet and two-putted my fourth hole to go three under, so it was a quick start and I kept it going."

Richardson had eight birdies in a 63 to lead by one from Harrington with four players on four under par 67 in joint third, including India's Arjun Atwal.

Harrington felt he could have gone even lower but he wasn't being too greedy.

"I could look at where I could have made a few more birdies but I holed a nice 15 footer on the seventh (his 16th, for a two)," he said.  "It's always nice to hole a nice putt when you are already six-under for the day though I did miss one on eight, so it kind of equals out. Overall, I am very happy with the round, though obviously there is a long way to go yet."

Harrington took advantage of perfect early conditions and even though the greens were firm, he's hoping the rain stays away for the remainder of the week.

"It was very nice early on and the greens were a little bit softer than they have been," said Harrington, who last shot 64 in the third round of the 2013 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the Old Course at St Andrews.

 Pádraig Harrington pitches in Indonesia. Picture by  Khalid Redza /   AsianTour.com

Pádraig Harrington pitches in Indonesia. Picture by  Khalid Redza /  AsianTour.com

"It was nice to get a quick start and keep moving forward. When the wind came up through nine holes, it wasn’t really a problem for me because I already had a few [birdies] in the bank at that stage.

"I was very surprised how firm the greens were. You can't afford to short side yourself on the course, which I did on the par-three third hole where I made my bogey.

"I hit a loverly bunker shot but I couldn't get it much closer that 15 feet. So it is tough if you miss the greens because they are firm. Hopefully the rain stays away because it will be nice to play a firm golf course because it doesn’t often happen."

Muskerry's Niall Turner, who has secured his Asian Tour card for 2015 through the second tier Asian Development Tour (ADT), shot a two-over 73 to share 75th place.

 Pádraig Harrington made eight birdies in his first round. Picture by  Khalid Redza /   AsianTour.com

Pádraig Harrington made eight birdies in his first round. Picture by  Khalid Redza /  AsianTour.com