by Ronan MacNamara
Padraig Harrington by Golffile
Pádraig Harrington shot an opening round of 71 on day one of the SAS Championship to lie six shots back of Scott Parel who shot a bogey-free seven-under 65 to take the first round lead.
Harrington’s round had a little bit of everything as he traded three birdies, an eagle, two bogeys and a double in an eventful opening effort.
The Ryder Cup captain started well with a birdie on the 2nd before a turbulent run towards the turn as a double bogey on the 5th was cancelled out with an eagle on the par-5 7th. He would give a shot back on the 8th to eventually turn in level-par 35.
A bogey on 12 was followed by a bogey on 15 but the three-time major champion finished well with a birdie on his penultimate hole to share 33rd place.
Parel is the man to catch as he leads Thongchai Jaidee and Robert Karlsson by one and he credited a clinical performance on the greens as being key to his round.
"I putted really well today," Parel said. "I hit the ball good. I've been trending in the right direction as far as that's concerned. I worked on my alignment a little bit this week and putted great. The greens are absolutely fantastic, probably the best ones we play all year, Bermuda like I grew up on."
Former European Tour cult hero, Jaidee Monday qualified for this event and has taken full advantage so far as he finished with four birdies in a row.
"I played great today," Jaidee said. "I missed only one fairway today. I tried to get my focus to be better this week. I mean like come to qualify, get in this week. The thing is my game is getting better. I picked up the putting a little bit today. I hit a lot of good shots, hit a lot of greens, hit a lot of fairways to give me a chance to hit on the greens."
Last week’s runner-up Miguel Angel Jimenez is in the mix again after an opening 67 and he lies alongside Lee Janxen while two-time major champion John Daly is a shot further back after a 68.