An early double-bogey set Padraig Harrington right back in his attempt to make up lost ground at the Vivendi Cup in Paris today.
After five holes of his second round the three-time major winner, who added the event to his schedule as a warm-up for next week’s Ryder Cup, was down in 36th spot on three under par and seven shots adrift of leader Johan Edfors.
Harrington has not won a tour event since the US PGA Championship 25 months ago and having failed to win a game in the last two Ryder Cup matches against the Americans, he was Colin Montgomerie’s most debatable wild card pick for Celtic Manor.
After an opening 68 at Golf de Joyenval he said that three more rounds would do him “no end of good,” but after a birdie on the long fourth hole of the Retz course – two are being used for the first 36 holes in a pro-am format – he ran up a six on the 348-yard next.
Things got even worse for Harrington when, having come back from his double bogey with a birdie at the long sixth, he dropped further strokes on the eighth and 10th.
There was suddenly a real danger that Harrington would miss the cut when he triple-bogeyed the 12th and slumped to one over.
And given that he was the only player in the world’s top 50 taking part, an early exit would pile the cup pressure on him even more.
He did birdie the next – all his three birdies had come on par fives so far - but even at level par he was only 79th and had to make a move over the closing stretch.
At two under he was down to 51st place and eight behind the two new pacesetters, Dane Soren Kjeldsen and France’s Julien Guerrier.
Edfors, though, was having an even worse morning than Harrington. After double bogeys at the fifth and sixth he was three back in joint seventh spot.