Putting blues for Padraig

By Brian Keogh

Padraig Harrington finished the Barclays Classic on a low after a putting nightmare in New York.

The Open champion three-putted twice in the final round at Westchester Country Club but birdied the last to finish on four under after a level par 71.

And that left the Dubliner, 35, just inside the top 40 and down from 21st to a projected 22nd in the FedEx Cup rankings.

Hoping to take advantage of the absence of FedEx leader Tiger Woods at one of his favourite course, Harrington racked up an uncharacteristic SIX three-putts for the week.

Starting the final round tied for 30th place on four under par, the Irish star bogeyed the par-three opening and then three putted the third from 16 feet to drop back to two under.

He birdied the fourth from 10 feet and got back to level for the day at the par-five fifth, despite missing a seven footer for eagle.

Sandwiching a bogey at the ninth with birdies at the seventh and 10th, he headed into the closing holes with high hopes of a respectable finish.

But he crashed to a disappointing double bogey six at the 11th, where he chipped to four feet and three-putted again.

American Steve Stricker led by a stroke from South African Rory Sabbatini entering the back nine.

Seeking his first win of the season, overnight leader Stricker played the opening nine in level par to lead by a shot on 14 under par.

With victory worth 9,000 FedEx Cup points, Stricker was bidding to go top of the standings.