Padraig Harrington of Ireland eagled the 18th hole to secure a 6-under-par 64 and grab the first-round lead Friday at the Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Alberta.
Harrington sank a downhill birdie putt from just off the green at the par-5 18th, finishing a bogey-free round with a flourish. That enabled him to carry a one-shot lead over Kirk Triplett (65) into the second round at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club.
Harrington, 50, is in his first season on the PGA Tour Champions and earned his first senior title at a major, the U.S. Senior Open, in June.
“I go play the regular tour and I’m middle of the field, just doesn’t cut it,” Harrington said. “It’s much nicer to be up there on the business end of things, you know, to be feeling it, feeling under pressure, feeling the nerves, feeling the excitement, to have the buzz of the crowd, have people watching. This is the big thing about the Champions Tour, it gives you a second life with that adrenaline.”
Triplett also had an eagle on his card — the par-5 11th — and no bogeys.
“I haven’t got the job done here. I’d like to have another shot or two at it,” Triplett said. “So I’m off to a good start and looking forward to the weekend.”
Paul Goydos and Sweden’s Robert Karlsson turned in 4-under 66s to forge a tie for third. Matt Gogel and John Huston were tied for fifth at 3-under 67.
Defending champion Doug Barron opened with an even-par 70.