Padraig Harrington fires opening round 64 to lead Senior PGA Championship

KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, Padraig Harrington
FRISCO, Texas — Padraig Harrington smiles with his caddie on the ninth hole during the first round of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Fields Ranch East. | Photo by Ryan Lochhead/PGA of America via Getty Images

The Irishman shot his lowest round of the year on the Texas course to take the early lead.

Padraig Harrington, the 51-year-old Irishman, opened the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship with a bang.

The Dubliner fired an 8-under par 64, the lowest 18-hole score he has recorded all season on the Champions Tour.

“I have quite a few course records, but this one would be a nice one to own by the end of the week, hopefully,” Harrington said to NBC’s Jimmy Roberts following his round. “Not that I need to go lower again, but hopefully, nobody passes me by.”

Despite having a record round, it did not get off to a great start. He bogeyed the challenging par-4 10th hole to begin the championship.

Harrington began to turn things around at the par-5 14th, his fifth hole of the day, where he made his first of four birdies.

His opening round took off at the 18th hole, where he made an eagle three on the 544-yard par-5.

After making the turn, Harrington made another eagle on the 1st hole, chipping in from 25 feet—the opening hole at Fields Ranch East measures 569 yards, meaning the first and final holes are scorable par-5s.

Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images
FRISCO, Texas — Padraig Harrington of Ireland putts on the eighth green during the first round of the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Fields Ranch East at PGA Frisco.

“It was a balance of things going nicely, but I holed a few putts, as you always do if you shoot a low number,” Harrington added. “I think I have been putting really well but not really holing anything. I holed a 35-footer on the 2nd, and a couple of 15-footers, but to shoot a low one, you genuinely need a few balls to drop.”

Harrington will head into the second round with a two-shot lead over Katsumasa Miyamoto of Japan, who opened with a 6-under par 66.

With that said, who knows what this weekend will bring in Texas, as these players are seeing PGA Frisco’s Field Ranch East course for the first time.

This course, newly designed by renowned golf course architect Gil Hanse, will host 12 championships in the coming years, including the 2027 and 2034 PGA Championships.

The 2027 PGA Championship will mark the first time a major is held in Texas in over 50 years.

But the focus remains on the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, where an Irishman is off to a hot start in the Texas heat.

Michael Block legend ‘continues to grow’ with unreal shot off bridge at Charles Schwab

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The magic continues for the Southern California club pro as Block was faced with a near impossible shot and made it look easy.

The Block party continues on a bridge.

Michael Block, the club pro who achieved international fame at last week’s PGA Championship, found his drive in a precarious position during his first round at the Charles Schwab Challenge Thursday.

On the 10th hole, a 385-yard par 4, the fairway runs out around the 270-yard mark, forcing tour players to hit less than driver off the tee. A penalty area sits just beyond the fairway.

Consequently, Block pushed his 3-wood to the right and got an unfortunate bounce as his ball continued to roll down the cart path.

His tee shot came to rest on a bridge, which crosses the penalty area that bisects the 10th hole.

“That was the worst tee shot I have ever hit in my life,” Block muttered as caught by Golf Channel’s cameras.

Since the bridge crosses a penalty area, Block could not receive free relief, per Clay Neely, the PGA Official who provided the ruling.

Had Block taken a drop, he would have been assessed a penalty stroke because his tee shot ended up within the red-staked area.

But Block did not want to take a penalty stroke, so he made the most of his situation.

He took a wedge from his bag, played the shot from the bridge, somehow avoided trees and limbs, and landed his ball 48 feet short of the flag on the fairway leading up to the green.

“Oh, come on now,” said Golf Channel’s Terry Gannon after Block hit his second shot at 10. “Just add it to the legend. It continues to grow.”

Block, who received a congratulatory message from Michael Jordan, echoed the basketball legend by shrugging in disbelief as soon as he walked off the bridge where he played his shot.

“Better than taking a penalty, right guys?” Block said to the spectators who watched him pull this shot off.

Despite going on to making par at 10, Block struggled during his first round at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He shot an 11-over and is in last place. So, maybe the legend won’t continue much longer.

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