It's now a decade since Padraig Harrington entered the most sizzling period of his career, when he successfully defended The Open before adding the PGA Championship for good measure. The Great Man has turned back the years at Ballyliffen this afternoon, leading the domestic charge at the Irish Open by shooting four-under par, leaving him a shot off clubhouse leader Ryan Fox.
It's a start incongruous with his form. Harrington has missed the cut in seven of his 12 events this year, so was perhaps naturally forecast by the bookies as an outsider for this year's Irish Open. Ahead of the tournament, Harrington was available at 66/1 or higher, a price that didn't particularly impress Harrington.
There's not often there's value in my game," Harrington told the Irish Indo.
The bookies in Ireland would make sure they cut you to a low price knowing that sentimentally people would back you. The bookies don't normally get it wrong, but to put me out there at 66/1 on a links golf course in my home country was strange on their part.
My performances always go up a level or two when it comes to a links course.
Maybe they factored that in and that says I'm even worse than I thought!
He isn't quite as valuable now: Harrington's strong start has seen him drift into 20/1.
The pre-tournament favourites were John Rahm and Rory McIlroy, but Rahm struggled to a two-over 74. McIlroy, meanwhile, shot one-under in spite of the fact that he never truly got his putter going. Elsewhere, Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell both shot one-under, leaving them level with a host of players including McIlroy.
Of the other Irish golfers to find themselves in the clubhouse at the time of writing, Simon Thornton and Ruadhri McGee shot level; Darren Clarke finished two-over; Cian McNamara finished at plus-four while Neil O'Briain finished two shots worse off than McNamara.