Harrington out after late rally

From Brian Keogh in Tucson

Padraig Harrington made an incredible comeback before crashing out to Stewart Cink on the 18th in the WGC Accenture World Match Play in Arizona.

The Dubliner got off to a dreadful start, losing four of the first six holes to pars to go four down on a scorching day in the Sonoma desert.

Three down with six to play, he battled his way back to stand just one down on the 18th tee and caress the hope of another 19th hole triumph, just 24 hours after beating Lee Westwood with a monster eagle putt.

Two brilliant shots left him a ten footer for a winning birdie three at the 447 yard finishing hole, but he lipped out instead to allow Cink to progress to face Canadian Stephen Ames, a 19th hole winner over Vijay Singh, in the last 16 today.

The Dubliner claimed on Wednesday that fatigue would not be a factor against US Ryder Cup player Cink.

But he looked anything but comfortable as he lost the second, third, fourth and sixth to par figures by the American Ryder Cup star.

It was a case of being suckered by sucker pins, which were stuck on the corner of greens or next to tricky slopes.

At the second, Harrington went for the pin, which was cut just five paces from the left edge but saw his 160 yard approach kick off the green into the fluffy rough.

Cink had the luxury of playing safely to the middle of the putting surface, securing a two putt par which Harrington failed to match after his cut up wedge finished nine feet short of the pin.

Another Harrington error at the 225 yard third gifted Cink yet another hole in par.

This time the European number one over-clubbed and kicked off the back edge, from where he chipped poorly and missed from ten feet.

Now two down, it got worse at the fourth, where he again short-sided himself after taking another dangerous pin and took three to get down from 20 feet after leaving his delicate chip more than eight feet short.

There was no respite for Harrington at the par-five fifth, where he missed a six foot birdie putt for a much needed win after Cink had twice tangled with the desert down the right hand side before saving par from four feet.

After all that had gone on before, it was no surprise when Harrington fell further behind at the 450 yard sixth, where he was just off the edge of the green in two but missed a four footer for par to go four down.

He battled back to win the seventh, lost the 10th to go four down but then won the 11th, 14th and 15th to set up a dramatic finish.

A bogey at the 16th left him two down with two to play and while he won the 17th with a par five, his luck ran out at the 18th,