By Seth Kerr
GolfWRX Staff Writer
Padraig Harrington has been searching for his game and his swing since reaching No. 3 in the world three years ago. He may be on his way to finding it at the Transitions Championship this week at Innisbrook.
Harrington aced the par 3 sixth hole during the pro-am Wednesday but had no idea it would be an indication that he would shoot a career round on Thursday. Harrington shot a 10-under-par 61, the Copperhead course record, which also ties for the low round on Tour this year.
Harrington is making his third consecutive start on Tour this week. He hit just six of 13 fairways but needed only 22 putts (he one-putted 14 of 18 greens). One of those putts included a 75-foot bomb for birdie on the 17th hole. He also jarred a 15-foot on No. 18 to close out his record round.
“When it’s your day — I could have turned my back on the hole and I would have holed the putt on the last,” Harrington said. “That’s just the way it is when things are going for you.”
Will Claxton is in second place after shooting a bogey-free 7-under 64 and Champions Tour player Kenny Perry leads a contingent of players who shot 66. Claxton had five birdies and one eagle on the par-5 14th hole.
Englishmen Luke Donald and Justin Rose, who is fresh off his win at Doral, are tied at 67, while defending champion, Gary Woodland, sits one back one back of them at 68.
Harrington is well known for the swing changes he undertook after winning three major championships, and is looking for his first win in 17 months (37 tournament).
“I’m feeling like things are ready to happen,” Harrington said. “Obviously, today it showed the potential. Today is a peak. But we’ll wait and see what happens over the next number of weeks.”
While a number of players were able to go low, Matt Kuchar and 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel struggled with 73 and 76 respectively.
With only three tournaments remaining until the Masters, those not already in the field at Augusta will be looking for a victory to earn a coveted spot into the year’s first major.