Damien McGrane was left cursing the luck of the draw as he missed the cut on his Major debut.
The Meath man, 37, finished with two birdies for a super 71 but at 10 over par, he had to head for home.
Open champ Padraig Harrington got a major boost when he spotted fans wearing ladybird tee shirts as he warmed up.
Damon Airey, a teaching professional at Hawkstone Park in Shrewsbury, was so impressed with Harrington’s behaviour at Carnoustie last year that he got three shirts specially printed for this year’s Open
Padraig Harrington kept his iron grip on the Claret Jug thanks to sensational superstar finish at Royal Birkdale.
The Dubliner looked in danger of missing the cut when he slipped to six-over par with seven holes of his second round to play.
But he kept his cool and played the last four holes in FOUR UNDER par thanks to an amazing birdie-par-eagle-birdie finish.
Shane Lowry's silken touch and crisp iron play helped the 21-year-old from Esker Hills survive two classic encounters at Royal Portrush to win the Magners North of Ireland Amateur Open title at the second attempt.
The plus-four handicapper, also this season's West of Ireland champion, made amends for losing in last year's Portrush final, and also inched closer to a place in the Great Britain and Ireland teams.
Damien McGrane walked away feeling shellshocked after a miserable Major debut at “silly” Royal Birkdale.
The Meath swinger, 37, crashed to a nine-over par 79 in his first competitive round at the Open - the same score as three-time Major winner Phil Mickelson.
Padraig Harrington survived a battle of the fittest at storm-lashed Royal Birkdale and roared: I hope it blows again.
The defending champion dug deep to card a four-over par 74 in the worst of the weather and believes another day of wind and rain can only boost his chances of retaining the old Claret Jug.
Wind guru Philip Walton bounced back from a nightmare start to leave some of golf's superstars in his wake.
The Dubliner dropped three shots in the first two holes but still shot a seven over 77 as Major winners Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and John Daly took 80.
Five-time Open champion Tom Watson proved he isn’t gone with the wind after matching defending champion Padraig Harrington with a 74.
Playing in his 31st Open the Kansas City legend, 58, was chuffed to start so well on the 25th anniversary of his last win.
Heading into the clubhouse after his round, a security man congratulated him, saying: “Well done Mr Watson.”
Without missing a beat, Watson said: “Thanks. Not bad for an old fart.”
Ulster ace Graeme McDowell topped the Open charts for the second time in three years and roared: I'm ready to be a winner this time.
Just four days after sealing his Ryder Cup place with victory in the Scottish Open, McDowell dodged the worst o the weather to open with a sensational 69 and share a one-stroke lead with US Open hero Rocco Mediate and Aussie Robert Allenby on one-under par.
Wrist injury ended the career of one of Ireland’s great Royal Birkdale heroes - Jimmy Bruen
The big-hitting Corkman is part of golfing folklore in Southport, where he won the 1936 British Boys title and then captured the British Amateur Championship in 1946.