More putting frustration for Harrington

Padraig Harrington has become more comfortable with the belly putter since he first used it at Quail Hollow (above). Picture: Eoin Clarke www.golffile.ieAnother day, another frustrating experience for Pádraig Harrington on the greens in the HP Byron Nelson Championship in Texas.

A closing, level par 70 saw the three time major winner haul himself off the bottom of the leaderboard at TPC San Antonio and finish tied for 48th on one over par. In reality, he could have shot something in the 60s with ease.

He ended up 14 shots behind winner Sang-Moon Bae of Korea, who came from behind with a 69 to beat long time leader Keegan Bradley (72) by a shot on 13 under par.

On the face of it, rounds of 70, 70, 71 and 70 look acceptable. But when you consider that he had two triple bogey sevens and holed nothing, he got virtually no reward for some excellent ball-striking, especially in the final round.

The first two holes told the story of Harrington’s day. He hit a 171-yard approach to seven feet at the first and a 204-yard approach to five feet at the second and missed both birdie putts.

The longest putt he holed all day was a nine footer for par at the fourth. But when it came to birdie or even eagles chances, nothing would drop.

Faced with an 11 footer for eagle at the seventh following two brilliant shots, he had to settle for a two putt birdie.

Even when he had four single putts in a row from the eighth to the 11th, they were all taps in for par after good short game work.

Still he managed to get to two under for the day with a birdie at the 180-yard 12th. But it came courtesy of a fantastic tee shot to just two feet eight inches.

Only once did he have to leave the long putter in the bag, but that was at the 14th, where he hit his approach into the pond left of the green and chipped in for par.

(Padraig Harrington gave GolfWRX the lowdown on his bag in Charlotte. Watch out for his poignant adios to the conventional putter at 4:48)


His first bogey of the day was caused by a wayward drive at the 15th but while he holed a five footer and a seven footer at the 16th and 17th to avoid three-putt bogeys, he raced an 18 footer eight feet past the hole at the last and missed the return. Bogey.

In total he had 29 putts but will look back not only at the chances he missed yesterday but at the mental errors he made in almost every round.

With two weeks off niw having opted, wisely, to skip the BMW PGA at Wentworth, he has time now to recharge and reflect on his first three weeks using the belly putter.

Whether it remains in the bag for the FedEx St Jude Classic and the US Open at Merion remains to be seen.