Padraig Harrington stole the show as he delighted the crowds on day one of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open but he was not the only story in town at the second Rolex Series event of the season.
Here's Everything you need to know from Thursday at Lahinch Golf Club.
Harrington the hero
Having played just two events on the European Tour this season due to a broken wrist suffered before Christmas, even the ever confident Harrington admitted expectations were low this week. But we've all been watching the links king for long enough to know that he can always turn it on, and with Ryder Cup captaincy on his mind and at 47 years of age, he produced a 63 - his lowest opening round on the European Tour for 18 years. "It would definitely be up there with one of the simplest, easiest, most pleasant days ever on the links," he said after taking a one shot lead.
Harrington the cheerleader
We've heard of blind shots and here at Lahinch we even have a blind tee shot but a blind putt? No, not for the players of course, but for the fans. The bowl of the eighth green is not easily accessible so when Harrington holed a long right to lefter from off the green - that actually curved around another ball - for birdie, he had to tell the fans that he had made a gain.
Lahinch provides a test unique in professional golf with its many blind shots on the front nine and the second at the fourth is among the most famous. Klondyke is named after the mound that sits across the fairway about 150 yards from the green and while the hole plays as a par five for the members, it's a par four this week. No problem for Tyrrell Hatton.
The layout also provides some more traditional links tests and one of them was beautifully mastered by Matt Wallace.
Don't you just love links golf?
Kaymer on a Major mission
Martin Kaymer has missed one Major Championship in the last 12 seasons - and that was only through injury. In that time he has won two of them, holed the vital putt at a Ryder Cup and risen to Number One on the Official World Golf Ranking. But without a very good performance this week or next, the German will not be heading to Royal Portrush for The Open Championship in a fortnight. He needs to be one of the top three players in the top ten not already exempt to earn his spot. "I haven't qualified this year," he said. "I thought I was because of the U.S. Open win but I need to have a top ten finish this week or next week to catch one of the spots that's still available. That's why it's nice to start the tournament in a good way."
Poulter plays to the crowd
"I've got a lot of support here in Ireland, they have really taken to me quite well," said Ian Poulter ahead of teeing it up this week. Playing alongside Harrington he was always going to take a big crowd with him, so how do you get them onside? By wearing Irish colours, of course. Always one of the European Tour's snappiest dressers, the Postman has done it again.
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