Harrington in contention at the Genesis Open

He's three off the lead after his first round

Padraig Harrington, golf

Padraig Harrington (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)

Ireland's Padraig Harrington is well in contention after posting a first round 67 at the Genesis Open in California.

He sits on four under par and is only three shots behind leader Sam Saunders on seven under par.

Saunders is the grandson of the legendary Arnold Palmer who won this tournament back-to-back 50 years ago.

The big hitting Dustin Johnson leads the chasing pack on five under, tied with J.T. Potson, Daniel Summerhays, Cameron Percy and Brett Stegmaier. 

The Irishman is tied in 7th place with 11 other players including Phil Mickelson, Marc Leishman and Brandon Grace.

Graeme McDowell finished on two-under while Shane Lowry is on three-over after 16 holes of his fog-delayed first round. 

Other notable scores see world number one Jason Day on even par after 16 holes with Hideki Matsuyama on one-under after 16. Jordan Spieth is two-under with two holes to complete in his first round as well.