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Mar 23, 2024 9:39 pm

Padraig Harrington takes 1-shot lead at Hoag Classic

Padraig Harrington

Ireland’s Padraig Harrington played his last four holes in 4 under en route to a 67 to claim a one-stroke lead at the Hoag Classic on Saturday in Newport Beach, Calif.

Harrington sits at 12-under 130 after 36 holes. He leads Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee (69 on Saturday), who owns sole possession of second at 11-under 131.

Following a bogey on the 14th, Harrington finished eagle-par-birdie-birdie to end his round with the lead.

“The first 14 holes it was the opposite of (Friday), I seemed to play nicely and not score very well, but then those last four holes make up for it,” Harrington said, in search of his seventh win on the Champions Tour.

“And I was pushing hard over the last four holes. We don’t know what we’re going to get (Sunday), it was important to be tying the lead by the end of the day if not leading. I think I got my mindset a bit, maybe making a bogey at 14 kind of kicked it off a little bit and it was a nice way to finish,” he added.

Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain (68) and England’s Paul Broadhurst (70) are three shots back in a tie for third. South Korean Y.E. Yang (66), Steve Stricker (67) and Woody Austin (68) are within striking distance at 8 under, clustered at T5.

Jimenez also closed strong after posting three bogeys on the front nine. He went birdie-birdie-eagle on Nos. 13-15 before closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th.

“My game is good overall, it’s good. I’m hitting pretty good from the tee, my irons good, the putt is start working after hole No. 8. That’s all you need,” Jimenez said.

Fred Couples withdrew after nine holes on Saturday, citing injury.

–Field Level Media

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