Miserable day for Harrington as Lowry and Hoey get in on birdie bonanza
PADRAIG HARRINGTON failed miserably to get in on the birdie blitz which lit up the opening day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship over three courses in Scotland.
The Dubliner returned a desperately disappointing 76 at Kingsbarns, with a double-bogey seven at the 12th the low point of his round.
this left him a massive 12 shots behind the five joint leaders, Richard mcEvoy, Alexandre Kaleka and Mark Tullo, who all shot 64s at Carnoustie, plus Oliver Wilson and Tom Lewis, who matched that score at St Andrews.
However, Shane Lowry did manage to get in on the blitz for the irish at Kingsbarns with a promising four-under total of 68.
His round included six birdies, including three in a row from the fourth to the sixth. His playing partner, Simon Thornton, also got in on the act with a 69.
Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey, who won the Dunhill in 2011, again showed his liking for the Scottish terrain when registering a 68 at Carnoustie.
Hoey opened with a pair of bogeys, but then birdied the next five holes on the bounce. An eagle two followed at the 11th, but he gave the shots back with another brace of bogeys at 12 and 13. He bagged another birdie at 14, before finishing with four straight pars.
Darren Clarke shot a solid 69 at Kingsbarns, one better than Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, who dropped two shots in his last three holes.
David Higgins and Gareth Maybin both recorded 72s at St Andrews, while Peter Lawrie shot 73 at Kingsbarns and Damien mcGrane a 75 at the same venue.
Alfred Dunhill Links,
Live, Sky Sports 1, 1.30
PHELAN'S QUALIFYING HOPES ON KNIFE-EDGE
Kevin Phelan needs to keep his nerve today to make sure of progressing to the second stage of European Tour Qualifying.
The Walker Cup star from West Waterford is very much on a knife- edge after he shot a 76 at Ribagolfe in Lisbon yesterday to add to his previous efforts of 70 and 73.
His 54-hole total of three-over-par 219 keeps him just inside the top 24, the cut-off point, but he cannot afford any slip-ups today.
Phelan carded five bogeys on the bounce from the third and two bogeys in the last three holes. Birdies came at two, nine and 12.
Mourne's Reeve Whitson has a lot of work to do after a 77 gave him a total of 226, while Nicholas Grant failed to make the last day following a disastrous third-round 85 for a 239 aggregate.