Paddy Is Back in the Game!
By Stephanie Wei under General

Padraig Harrington fired 6-under-par 64 and led after the first round of WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. He followed with another good showing today, carding 69, and is the clubhouse leader by one shot over Prayad Marksaeng.

It’s no secret he’s been struggling this season. After winning the British Open and the PGA Championship last year, he made a swing change. When I heard this at the beginning of the season, I was kind of baffled. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

He had clearly been playing very well in ‘08. Aside from snagging two majors, he had 6 top ten and 9 top 25 finishes. Not so shabby, eh? Prior to the British Open, he said, “I just wanted a better swing.” I mean, I get it. The trade-off is adjusting to these changes. And that takes time. Then there’s the “trusting” factor. Anyone who has played competitively or even avid golfers know it’s gosh darn frustrating!

It looks like the pieces have fallen together (oh shoot, hit with the Wei jinx!). And apparently he mentioned earlier this week that he’d “found his swing.” I, for one, am happy to see the smiley-toothed Irish dude playing well. Here’s hoping he keeps it up! Hooray.

UPDATE: Marksaeng is making a move today — three-under-par through 8 holes and 7-under-par for the tourney. He’s tied with Paddy now. Eh, hate to say this, but start making bogeys, dude!

[Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images]