Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Harrington makes some Cup noise at Barclays

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Padraig Harrington found a way Thursday to take some attention away from Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. He made six birdies on the tough back nine of Bethpage Black and opened the FedEx Cup playoffs with 7-under 64 for a one-shot lead at the Barclays.

Maybe that got the attention of Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

Harrington needs a captain's pick for his seventh straight European team, and that looks unlikely. Not only has the three-time major champion gone four years without winning against a strong field, he and Olazabal are not the best of friends after a dispute at the Seve Trophy nine years ago.

"The only answer I can give at this stage is I'm pleading the Fifth Amendment," Harrington said after questions about his chances of making the team and what he has to do to impress Olazabal. "I honestly don't know what to say. I don't want to go in there and try too desperately to beg for a pick, or I don't want to go in there and give excuses for anything. … I'm just going to play golf."

Olazabal had said earlier that Harrington had to produce an "extraordinary" effort to be considered. Asked Thursday to define "extraordinary," Olazabal replied bluntly: "At least win."

Harrington came to life on the back nine with four straight birdies to cap his 64, giving him a one-shot lead over Nick Watney and Brian Harman. Sergio Garcia was part of the group at 66, while Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler, both trying to make their own impression as potential picks by U.S. captain Davis Love, were in the group at 67.

There were 73 players from the 123-man field at par or better, not the kind of scoring associated with Bethpage Black.

Thousands chased after Woods and McIlroy, in the marquee group based on their FedEx Cup standings — Woods at No. 1, McIlroy at No. 3. Woods scrambled after a few errant shots and shot 68. McIlroy settled for 69.

If this is a rivalry, it figures to be friendly. Woods genuinely likes the 23-year-old from Northern Ireland. He chatted more than usual, and during one wait, McIlroy listened intently with a smile on his face as Woods told a story, then broke into a big laugh.

Worth repeating for all ears?

"No," McIlroy said with another laugh.

"He's a nice kid, he really is," Woods said.

LPGA: Yani Tseng opened with 6-under 66 for a one-stroke lead in the Canadian Women's Open at the Vancouver Golf Club. Defending champ Brittany Lincicome of Seminole and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse opened with 72.

Harrington makes some Cup noise at Barclays 08/23/12 [Last modified: Thursday, August 23, 2012 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays vs. Angels, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Angels

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  2. Fennelly: This season's Chris Archer is a pleasure to watch

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    At this time last season, through 10 starts, Rays pitcher Chris Archer was 3-5 on his way to 9-19.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, May 21, 2017.
  3. Bucs' O.J. Howard ends big day with BP, first pitch for Rays

    Blogs

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard is known for his athleticism at 6-foot-6, 251-pounds. As an outfielder, he took his Autuaga Academy High School baseball team to the state tournament in Alabama as a junior.

    On Monday, after a little instruction from Steven Souza, Jr., the left-handed hitting Howard started making …

  4. Arm problems in the past, USF rides pitching into AAC baseball tournament

    College

    TAMPA — By his second relief inning in last year's season opener, USF right-hander Ryan Valdes had lost the fizz on his fastball.

    USF senior right-hander Ryan Valdes, an Alonso High alumnus, is one of three prominent Bulls pitchers flourishing after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. [USF Athletics]
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick likes Bucs weapons, believes he's a good fit

    Blogs

    Ryan Fitzpatrick’s experience playing for six other NFL teams is what made him attractive to the Bucs as a backup to starter Jameis Winston. But if he has to play, the former Jets quarterback is happy about all the weapons on Tampa Bay’s offense.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick is happy about all the weapons on Tampa Bay’s offense.