Padraig Harrington, the 51-year-old Irishman, opened the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship with a bang.
The Dubliner fired an 8-under par 64, the lowest 18-hole score he has recorded all season on the Champions Tour.
“I have quite a few course records, but this one would be a nice one to own by the end of the week, hopefully,” Harrington said to NBC’s Jimmy Roberts following his round. “Not that I need to go lower again, but hopefully, nobody passes me by.”
Despite having a record round, it did not get off to a great start. He bogeyed the challenging par-4 10th hole to begin the championship.
Harrington began to turn things around at the par-5 14th, his fifth hole of the day, where he made his first of four birdies.
His opening round took off at the 18th hole, where he made an eagle three on the 544-yard par-5.
After making the turn, Harrington made another eagle on the 1st hole, chipping in from 25 feet—the opening hole at Fields Ranch East measures 569 yards, meaning the first and final holes are scorable par-5s.
“It was a balance of things going nicely, but I holed a few putts, as you always do if you shoot a low number,” Harrington added. “I think I have been putting really well but not really holing anything. I holed a 35-footer on the 2nd, and a couple of 15-footers, but to shoot a low one, you genuinely need a few balls to drop.”
Harrington will head into the second round with a two-shot lead over Katsumasa Miyamoto of Japan, who opened with a 6-under par 66.
With that said, who knows what this weekend will bring in Texas, as these players are seeing PGA Frisco’s Field Ranch East course for the first time.
This course, newly designed by renowned 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 a major is held in Texas in over 50 years.
But the focus remains on the 2023 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, where an Irishman is off to a hot start in the Texas heat.