Golf

Padraig Harrington finds his form to lie three shots off the lead in Genesis Open

Padraig Harrington finished with three birdies to be in contention at the Riviera Country Club
Martin McGoran

PADRAIG Harrington enjoyed a welcome return to form on day one of the Genesis Open at the Riviera Country Club in California.

The three-time Major winner has had a slow start to the season but a round of four-under par 67 – which included birdies at the final three holes – will have made him feel a whole lot better.

It left the Dubliner three shots of the lead held by Sam Saunders (64). One of the tournament favourites, Dustin Johnson, shared second on five-under.

A fog delay earlier in the day meant that round one remained incomplete at close of play.

Graeme McDowell was two shots behind Harrington after a solid opening 69, but Shane Lowry has work to do as he is three over with two holes of his first round still to play.

Meanwhile, in Perth, England's Mark Foster and local favourite Brett Rumford shot matching rounds of 66 to share the first round lead at the ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth.

Perth native Rumford set the early pace with a six-under-par round that contained just a single bogey, with his effort matched by Foster in the afternoon session.

The pair sit a shot clear of a group of 10 players, although topping the leaderboard is not the be-all and end-all this week as the European Tour embraces a new format. The top 24 players after 54 holes at Lake Karrinyup will contest a six-hole matchplay format on Sunday to determine the champion.

Last year's Perth International winner Louis Oosthuizen opened with a three-under-par 69 to sit in a tie for 24th but world number 11 Alex Noren could only manage a two-over 74.

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