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Harrington finishes with flourish to share lead

Padraig Harrington set about making amends for two prior second-place results in Malaysia, finishing with a share of the lead on day one of the Iskandar Johor Open.

Harrington fired two eagles over his closing three holes for an eight-under-par 64 to share the lead with Australia's Marcus Both and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat in the Asian Tour event being played 30 miles north of Singapore.

Harrington is seeking to end a 20-month victory drought and also bury the demons of those near misses in the Maybank Malaysian Open.

The world No 22 birdied his opening three holes on the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club course before driving to the green at the 314-yard par-four 16th and holing out for eagle from 18 feet.

The triple Major-winner then sank a 25-footer for an eagle three at the par-five 18th.

"It was nice to finish eagle, par, eagle and that's a rare thing to do," Harrington said. "It certainly bumped up my score but it's a long way to go yet.

"You can always lose it on a Thursday but in regards to winning it, there's a lot of work to be done.

"It was a tough day with the wind. It was an awkward day and it's nice to return a score like that. I got the breaks and holed a few putts.

"If you're going to shoot a 64, you've got to hole a few putts. I certainly holed two nice ones on 16 and 18 and I holed three 15-footers as well."

South African Retief Goosen carded a 68 and Ryder Cup-winning Europe captain Colin Montgomerie signed for a 70.

Irish Independent