PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON’S trials and tribulations continue unabated.
Last night, he became one of those to fall victim to the appalling conditions prevailing throughout yesterday afternoon and evening and soared to a five over par 77 for six over overall.
Ten groups must come back to complete their second rounds this morning but the likelihood is that the 2007 and ‘08 champion will miss the cut by four strokes.
Harrington certainly didn’t help his prospects by failing badly to take advantage of the perfect playing conditions on offer early on Thursday. A round of 73 was always going to leave him a lot to do to survive and that never looked like happening.
He could hardly have started on a poorer note. Having overshot the first green to take bogey, two more went at the second and there was never much hope of survival after that. Harrington’s playing partner, five-time champion Tom Watson, also fell by the wayside although he received a magnificent reception from the huge crowds still surrounding the final hole who went wild when he went within a fraction of an inch of holing his approach shot for an eagle.
Darren Clarke maintained the highly improved form he displayed when winning the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare and finishing second in the Scottish Open by scoring the best of all those caught out in last night’s awful weather. He must come back at 6.30am this morning to complete his second round but will do so in the happy position of standing four under par for the championship.
After shooting 70 on Thursday, he was still motoring nicely with birdies at the 3rd and 7th against concessions at the 5th and 12th when he enjoyed a remarkable stroke of good fortune at the 13th where he rolled in a massive putt of 40 yards.
He then opted to use the putter from 40 yards short of the par five 14th green, judged it perfectly before rolling in an eight footer for another gain.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved