Padraig Harrington definitely regarded like a person with no worries as he shot a 66 within the first spherical of the AT&T Byron Nelson. The veteran shrugged off a five-week break after which, in his function as Europe captain, proceeded to swat away considerations that the Ryder Cup may very well be blighted by the Saudi Arabian plan to create a Super Golf League.
Harrington shouldn’t be satisfied the breakaway circuit is doomed to failure, however quite that no gamers will enroll earlier than September’s match. Telegraph Sport revealed final week that Saudi investors were looking for signatures to just accept contracts price as much as $50million (£43million) a yr.
The targets embrace England’s Justin Rose and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, two Europe stalwarts. Harrington believes each will likely be out there for Whistling Straits, as will the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau for Steve Stricker’s crew.
“Look, it’s a big topic that’s dominating the conversation in golf,” Harrington mentioned. “But it’s not going to affect the Ryder Cup, not this year anyway. I just don’t think anyone will sign up before then. Why should they? They are not planning on starting it until next September. They would be banned from the Tours, from the majors probably and the Ryder Cup and would have nowhere to play for a year or so. Makes no sense.”
Harrington fears that if the Saudis do maintain pushing on, the problem may finish in court docket, notably as the SGL appears solely to be planning for 10-12 occasions a yr and never the 18-20 first mooted. “It is interesting because you could see somebody playing the SGL’s 12 tournaments and also playing 15 Tour events to satisfy their membership regulations,” the Irishman mentioned.
“There could be scope in the calendar for that. But you have to say it was a big move for the PGA Tour to tie up with the European Tour and I agree with everything they are doing to protect their tours, threatening sanctions and everything. However, you’d have to think that, say, the European Union could question the Tours with competition laws and so on.”
On six underneath, Harrington is three pictures off American JJ Spaun’s lead, with Spaniard Rafa Cabrella Bello in a gaggle on eight underneath and countryman Sergio Garcia on seven underneath, alongside England’s Luke Donald. Robert MacIntyre is at the moment tenth on the Ryder Cup standings, only one off the automated locations, and within the second spherical of the Betfred British Masters at The Belfry he as soon as once more emphasised his intent to qualify by proper.
The 24-year-old shot a 66 to maneuver to seven-under and right into a share of the lead with fellow Scot Calum Hill (70) and Richard Bland (69). Another Englishman, Eddie Pepperell, is within the group on six underneath following a 68. On the primary day of the Investec South African Women’s Open – the yr’s opening occasion on the Ladies European Tour – Wales’s Lydia Hall and native favorite Lee-Anne Pace set the tempo on two underneath.
The pair are one away from two different South Africans, Tandi McCallum and Nicole Garcia, in Cape Town. It was an excellent day for Welsh feminine golf as, within the third Rose Ladies Series occasion of the season, Becky Brewerton prevailed in a play-off towards English duo Brogan Townend and Liz Young.
Brewerton, the 38-year-old from Flintshire, fired a level-par spherical at Brokenhurst Manor in Hampshire and birdied the second gap of the sudden-death shootout.