Harrington leads by 3 at Irish Open

May 20, 2007

ADARE, Ireland (AP) — Padraig Harrington stretched his lead to three shots Saturday at the Irish Open, where is trying to become the first Irishman to win in 25 years.

The 35-year-old Dubliner was 1 over at the turn but birdied Nos. 12 and 17 to shoot a 1-under 71 and finish at 4-under 212 after the third round at Adare Manor. The last Irishman to capture the championship was John O’Leary in 1982.

“There’s a lot of work to be done tomorrow,” Harrington said. “I have a hard day’s grind ahead of me.”

Bradley Dredge of Wales birdied three of the last four holes to shoot 69. He was the only player to break 70 for the day and was tied for second with Simon Wakefield of England, who shot a 73.

Another stroke back were Richard Green of Australia, who shot a 72, and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa, who had a 73.

Harrington tried to ride the support of the crowd to a bigger lead.

“I had thoughts of maybe shooting a 66 to run away from the field and basically win the tournament today,” he said. “But it was not to happen. Now whether it’s three or four shots does not make a difference tomorrow. It’s not a big enough lead that I can be complacent.”

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