Padraig Harrington, a 51-year-old Irishman, opened the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in a big way.
The Dubliner shot 8-under par 64, his lowest 18-hole score all season on the Champions Tour.
“I have some course notes, but this one will be great to have by the end of the week, hopefully,” Harrington told NBC’s Jimmy Roberts after his round. “Not that I have to go down again, but hopefully, nobody gets past me.”
Despite having a lap record, it didn’t start well. He bogeyed the par-4 10th hole challenging to start the championship.
Harrington started to turn things around at the par-5 14th, his fifth of the day, where he made his first of four birdies.
His opening round takeoff at the 18th hole, where he made three eagles at a par-5 544 yards.
After the turn, Harrington hawked again at the first hole, chipping in from 25 feet—the opening hole at Fields Ranch East was 569 yards, meaning the first and last holes were rated par-5s.
“It was a balance of things going well, but I made some putts, like you always do if you shoot low,” added Harrington. “I thought I had placed really well but didn’t really punch a hole. I holed 35 feet on the 2nd hole, and some 15 feet, but to shoot low you really need a few balls to drop.
Harrington will head into the second round two strokes clear of Japan’s Katsumasa Miyamoto, who opened at 6-under par 66.
With that said, who knows what will happen this weekend in Texas, as these players get to see the PGA Frisco’s Field Ranch East court for the first time.
The course, newly designed by acclaimed golf course architect Gil Hanse, will host 12 championships in the coming years, including the 2027 and 2034 PGA Championships.
The 2027 PGA Championship will mark the first time the majors will be held in Texas in over 50 years.
But the focus remains on the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, where an Irishman got off to a hot start in a hot Texas.