Round-up: Harrington teeters on the brink; Irish fall back in Czech Republic

Thomas Pieters/Getty Images

PGA Tour — Pádraig Harrington is facing an early exit from the FedEx Cup playoffs after Saturday’s third round results had him projected to fall to 101st and miss out on the Top 100 who qualify for Boston by just four points.

The Dubliner, who turns 44 on Monday, missed the cut in The Barclays to leave his fate in the hands of others entering the final round at Plainfield Country Club on Sunday.

Harrington was 87th in the standings heading to New Jersey and projected to fall to 98th at the end of Friday’s play.

He was obiliged to wait out the weekend to learn his fate and ended Saturday down in 101st as Carlos Ortiz shot a brilliant 62 to move from outside the top 100 to a projected 63rd, Luke Donald (65) to 84th and Stewart Cink (67) to 87th.

All three can go backwards on Sunday, as can others in the Top 100, but others can also make a move from outside the Top 100, leaving Harrington facing another tough wait.

However, with Ortiz now tied seventh, Donald tied 20th and Cink tied 26th, things don’t look good for the Dubliner.

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At the top of the leaderboard, US PGA winner Jason Day and Korea’s Sangmoon Bae shot seven under 63s to lead by a stroke on 11 under from Bubba Watson (67).

Texan Ryan Palmer, who lost his father in a car crash last week, is tied fourth with Open champion Zach Johnson (67) and Henrik Stenson (67) on nine under with Ortiz a shot further back on seven under.

European Tour — Michael Hoey and Damien McGrane lost ground as Thomas Pieters incurred a two shot penalty for playing the wrong ball but still took a one shot lead into the final round of the D+D REAL Czech Masters.
Hoey and McGrane shot one under 71s but fell back to tied 10th and 24th on eight under and six under respectively as the big-hitting Belgian made a blistering start at Albatross Golf Resort with an eagle on the opening hole followed by a birdie on the second to hit the top of the leaderboard.
Pieters then picked up three consecutive birdies from eighth hole. But his progress came to an abrupt halt in bizarre circumstances on the 11th hole when the 23 year old played his second shot from the rough using a ball he thought was his, only to discover his actual ball a matter of yards away.
That mix-up cost Pieters the lead, but he fought back admirably with a birdie on the next hole and picked up two more shots, on the 14th and 16th holes, for an impressive seven under par round of 65.

At 17 under par he is one shot clear of Sweden’s Pelle Edberg, who posted five birdies in his opening 12 holes followed by six consecutive pars to finish off a round of 67.

Kevin Phelan also shot 71 but moved up two places to tied 34th on four under.
“The 11th hurts a little bit because it is my mistake,” Pieters said. “It could have been a lower one but I’m still really happy with the way I played, and seven under is a good score on a Saturday."