While the crowd and cameras stalked the First Round Thursday, Irishman Padraig Harrington stormed to the lead of The Barclays Tournament.
weather and soft greens allowed golfers to tame the traditionally formidable course. Fifty-one pros finished the round under par, led by Harrington’s blistering 7-under-par 64.
“You know, I shot 3-under par, and I’m not even in the top 10,” said Woods, who finished the day in a tie for 14th while McIlroy was 26th.
Golfers speak about Bethpage Black with reverence and humility. Consider this: Woods shot 3-under to take the 2002 U.S. Open. Lucas Glover’s 4-under performance was just enough to win in 2009.
The Bethpage mystique didn’t match Thursday’s results.
“I didn’t think it was playing that easy, but obviously there were a lot of good scores,” said Sergio Garcia, who is tied for fourth after firing a 5-under 66. “There wasn’t much wind. The greens weren’t extremely firm, so you could attack some pins if you were in the fairway.”
Garcia, who is coming off a strong performance to win the Wyndham Championship on Sunday, did just that with a birdie on No. 18.
Harrington sits atop the leaderboard after he birdied six holes on the back stretch to finish strong. Harrington, 40, won back-to-back British Open titles in 2007-08. His round ties the Bethpage Black record during a PGA Tour event.
The Friday at Bethpage State Park. Harrington will tee off at 12:22 p.m. from No. 10.
Woods, McIlroy and Zach Johnson tee off from No. 1 at 1:06 p.m.
The Barclays Tournament
Second Round: Golfer pairings Friday
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