January 31 2013
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Padraig Harrington had never teed it up in the Waste Management Phoenix Open before Thursday.
The Irishman wanted to come play at TPC Scottsdale, though, because he liked the niche the tournament had created for itself and the way it celebrated the fans. Harrington certainly gave the crowd something to cheer, too, as he made seven birdies on the way to a 64 that left him tied for second, four shots off the pace set by two-time champ Phil Mickelson.
"It's a nice score, obviously, 7 under par," Harrington said. "It's a little bit behind Phil but still a nice score in itself. I pretty much got the most out of the round for the first 15 holes and then had three chances the last three holes and didn't hole the putts. But overall I've got a good feeling about it."
Harrington may rue those three misses from inside 20 feet but considering he had never played the course before Monday, he couldn't be too disappointed. The three-time major champion hit 10 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation while using 25 putts.
"I know there's going to be a couple of errors here and there," he said. "Hopefully, as I said, I can keep making enough birdies to counteract that."