Edfors the force in Paris

Padraig Harrington grabbed seven birdies and yet still found himself seven shots off the lead after the opening day of the Vivendi Cup in Paris.

Padraig Harrington grabbed seven birdies and yet still found himself seven shots off the lead after the opening day of the Vivendi Cup in Paris.

Left as the only member of next week’s Ryder Cup side in the field after the withdrawal of Swede Peter Hanson with a chest infection, Harrington signed for a four under par 68.

But an hour later Swede Johan Edfors completed a 61 which equalled the low round of the European Tour season and knocked two strokes off his best score on the circuit.

Edfors had five birdies in an outward 31 and then started for home with three more birdies and an eagle.

The Tour’s first-ever 59 was a possibility at that stage, but the former Scottish Open and British Masters champion bogeyed the next before finishing with two more birdies.

It gave him a two-shot lead over England’s David Dixon, while the scoring was such that Harrington did not even make the top 20.

Originally hoping to be in Atlanta for the Tour Championship and its amazing £7.2million jackpot, controversial wild card pick Harrington fell out of the FedEx Cup play-offs at the halfway stage and decided to add this far smaller event to his schedule.

He was three under after six, but mixed three bogeys with his four other birdies playing alongside his older brother Fergal in the pro-am format.

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