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May 9, 2024 8:01 pm

Chris DiMarco, Padraig Harrington lead Tradition with play halted

padraig harrington

Chris DiMarco and Irishman Padraig Harrington shared the early lead at 7 under through 13 holes when play was suspended at the Regions Tradition on Thursday in Birmingham, Ala.

The first major of the PGA Tour Champions season was halted Thursday afternoon due to lightning in the area. The tour decided not to resume play until Friday at 8 a.m. local time, with all 78 players needing to complete their first rounds before beginning Round 2.

DiMarco and Harrington are two strokes ahead of Steve Flesch, Fiji’s Vijay Singh, Australia’s Rod Pampling and South Korea’s Y.E. Yang. Flesch was 5 under through 16 holes while Singh, Pampling and Yang were 5 under through 11.

DiMarco, 55, has yet to win on the PGA Tour Champions. He’s never finished better than T33 at the Regions Tradition, yet he had a red-hot start Thursday with seven birdies in 13 holes, including three straight at one point.

While newer to the PGA Tour Champions than DiMarco, the 52-year-old Harrington already has seven wins and one major (the 2022 U.S. Senior Open) in his back pocket. The former World No. 3 started his round on the back nine and racked up four straight birdies at Nos. 13-16 to get going.

Shane Bertsch (15 holes completed), Lee Janzen (15), Marco Dawson (12) and South Africa’s Ernie Els (12) are tied at 4 under.

Steve Stricker, the three-time Tradition winner who won in 2022 and 2023 by six shots, was 3 under through 11 holes when play halted.

“I enjoy coming here,” Stricker said Wednesday before the tournament. “It’s the first major of the year. So, you get fired up to play here. The weather is usually warm and good. And the course is in great shape. I try not to think about it too much and just try to go out and play and continue to play well here.”

Also tied at 3 under were John Daly, Germany’s Bernhard Langer and Charles Schwab Cup leader Steven Alker of New Zealand.

–Field Level Media

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