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The Barclays 2012: Padraig Harrington Atop Leaderboard After Opening Round 64

Ireland's Padraig Harrington stole the show on Thursday morning to kick off the 2012 FedEx Cup Playoffs at Bethpage Black, as the three-time major winner carded a 7-under round of 64 to place himself atop his peers heading into Friday.

Harrington only managed to post a 1-under 35 on the front nine and did not look to be playing at his best when he made the turn, but somehow roared back with six birdies over his final eight holes to finish with a remarkable 29. The impressive round of 64 tied the lowest score from the U.S. Open held at Bethpage back in 2009, but came on a day when a number of top players also tallied a high number of birdies.

Behind Harrington by a mere stroke sits Nick Watney and Brian Harman at 6-under, while as many as four players remain right in the thick of things at 5-under par. Big names Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson each made their respective presences known on Thursday with rounds of 68, while Bill Haas, the 2011 FedEx Cup champion, sits seven strokes back at even par.

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Stay with this StoryStream for more Barclays coverage, and be sure to visit SB Nation's golf hub for more news from Bethpage.