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New clubs, no problem for Glen Day at Senior British Open

Reigning US Senior Open champion Padraig Harrington made five birdies on the back nine in his round of 66.Mark Runnacles/Getty

GLENEAGLES, Scotland — Playing with a new set of golf clubs after his failed to arrive from the United States, Glen Day never expected to be a contender at the Senior British Open this week.

Imagine his surprise, then, at taking a share of the lead after the first round at Gleneagles on Thursday.

“I did get them in time to play a couple of practice rounds,” Day said of his new clubs, “so at least I know where the ball goes with those clubs. It’s not ideal but even if I get my stuff, I still may play these.”

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Day converted an 8-foot eagle putt at the par-5 18th at The King’s Course to match Stephen Ames’s bogey-free 6-under-par 64.

The 56-year-old American, who said he arrived in Scotland with “nothing,” didn’t feel he hit it well with his new driver or putter all day.

“I have no reason to believe I would play good today,” he said.

Padraig Harrington wasn’t too impressed with his own performance, either, in his first appearance in a Senior Open.

Still, the two-time Open champion and reigning US Senior Open champion made five birdies on the back nine in his round of 66.

“I’m happy with the score,” the 50-year-old Irishman said. “I was very tentative. I putted well and my putter saved me most of the day. I was just tentative with my iron shots particularly.”

Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 champion at Carnoustie, was one stroke back along with Jerry Kelly, Kent Jones, and Darren Clarke.

Ernie Els, a two-time British Open winner, shot a 66 that included an eagle on the par-4 14th.

Bernhard Langer, the 64-year-old German who has won the Senior Open four times, was three strokes off the lead. Defending champion Stephen Dodd of Wales got to 1 under with an eagle on the 18th.

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