Harrington drives into trouble at Volvo
GOLF: Padraig Harrington couldn't have received a more painful sting in the tail than he did on the final hole of the first round of the Volvo Golf Champions at Fancourt.
Six under par through his first 17 holes of 2012 at the Volvo Golf Champions, Harrington was second only to runaway leader Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium as he stood over the daunting tee shot on the final hole.
Yet a classy afternoon's work was undone when the Irishman blasted his drive deep into bushes to the right of the fairway and, after dropping out under penalty, eventually three-putted for a desperate double-bogey.
"It was a very comfortable six under par for 17 holes, but that was a far from comfortable seven down the last," said Harrington dejectedly.
"It was a nasty tee shot, up a hill with a left-to-right wind, trouble on the left and trouble on the right," he added.
"It's a tough old hole. Get the tee shot away and you've a good birdie chance. If you don't, such is life.
"I hadn't lost a drive all day, but where you're aiming there, it doesn't take much to get yourself in trouble.
"It was an ugly six-footer, only matched by the putt I hit," said Harrington, who still signed for a 69 that left him tied fifth on four under par, five off the lead set by Colsaerts with a stunning course-record 64.
Darren Clarke's new fitness regime is one element of a complete physical makeover for the Ulsterman, who wore contact lenses and dark glasses for the first time in competition yesterday.
"The eye doctor discovered that when I look into bright light it takes seven seconds for my eyes to refocus," said Clarke, who attributed his opening 74 to ring rust after the winter break.