Harrington shafted by putter

Padraig Harrington has given a new-fangled putter shaft the boot for his Irish Open defence.

But he refused to blame a neck injury and a surgical elbow brace for his meltdown in last week’s Players Championship.

The world No 12 had NINE BOGEYS in his last 11 holes as he putted terribly for a 78 to miss the cut by three shots.

And he blamed the new shaft in his backfiring Two-Ball putter as he equalled his highest round at TPC Sawgrass.

Set to return to his normal shaft at Adare Manor this week, Harrington said: “I used a pured S300 shaft in my putter because it is meant to give you a better strike and more consistency.

“But it didn't give me more consistency so the old shaft is going back in this week. I didn't putt well, not pace wise.”

Harrington’s long-term neck injury flared up in the gym before Friday’s second round.

He was also wearing an surgical support to keep his long-term problem with tennis elbow in check.

But he dismissed his physical problems, explaining: “I've been trying to keep on top of the elbow. But the support is not in the least bit intrusive on my game. Not at all.

“It is a bit intrusive on my ability to lift weights but not on anything else.

“It didn't affect the shots I hit. I hit so many good shots, it couldn't have affected it. And I play with a hurt neck all the time.”

But Harrington does not believe that having last weekend off will help him retain the Irish Open.

He said: “I am better off with four rounds of competitive golf.”