Handstands the order of the day for happy Harrington

Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:23am EST
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By Tony Jimenez

DUBAI (Reuters) - Padraig Harrington was performing metaphorical handstands after shooting a five-under-par 67 at the DP World Tour Championship on Thursday despite frittering away a host of birdie chances in the opening round.

The triple major winner found the Greg Norman-designed Earth layout a fearsome opponent in practice earlier this week and he was delighted to tame the course once the action started for real.

"I shot 67 doing handstands today," Harrington told reporters on an unusually overcast day in Dubai. "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."

The day started in the Emirate with a tropical downpour first thing in the morning and it was soon raining birdies for Harrington as he picked up six in his round plus a solitary bogey.

"It could have been numerous shots better," said the 41-year-old Irishman at the European Tour's season-ending tournament. "I missed an awful lot of chances.

"You don't play like that every day and I'm not expecting to play like that for the rest of the week."

Harrington won the Grand Slam of Golf event in Bermuda in October to end a two-year victory drought but has missed the cut for the last two weeks, at the Singapore Open and Hong Kong Open.   Continued...

Padraig Harrington of Ireland watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the Barclays PGA golf tournament on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York August 24, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger