Harrington off his greens at Adare

By Brian Keogh

Padraig Harrington confessed that he went completely off his greens in his worst Irish Open performance for five years.

The defending champion slithered to tied 31st - his worst performance since 2003 - after a closing 76 that featured two three-putts and a nightmare triple bogey six at the par-three 16th

And he admitted that it was his putting that let him down on the undulating Adare Manor greens.

Shrugging off a bad week, Harrington said: "I had an awful week on the greens and it was characterised by what happened today.

"If I hit a good putt on the line I wanted to hit it on, I seemed to have misread it. And if I had the right line, I hit a bad putt. That's the way it goes sometimes.

"There's nothing wrong with my putting and nothing wrong with my game. It's just a question of letting it happen and waiting for good things to come.

"The weeks you don't win are harder to take when you haven't won one before. So I am glad I won this title last year. It makes this week all the easier."

Harrington was six shots off the pace with a round to play but bogeyed three of the first six holes and never recovered.

Out in three over par 39, he came home in 37 thanks to a birdie-birdie finish to a roller-coaster round he quickly wants to forget.

He said: "Today's round was one of those things. I played average, got caught out a few times, struggled with my concentration and didn't hole the putts."

As for the future of the event, which is under pressure financially due to the lack of a big name title sponsor, Harrington believes time is the only solution.

He said: "The Irish Open has slipped down in the minds of the European Tour players in terms of stature. You have to build it up to get it back to where it was in its heyday in the 80s and early 90s when every European player wanted to win the Irish Open."

Harrington now has this week off before playing the Wales Open and the St Jude Classic in Memphis before the US Open at Torrey Pines.