Shane Lowry celebrated making his first cut as a pro with a fist pump but Padraig Harrington slipped deeper into the mire with his fifth consecutive failure after carding a 75 in the second round of the French Open.

Deconstructing PadraigIreland's triple major champion looks like a man who has taken a Formula 1 car apart and reassembled it again only to discover that the garage floor is covered with all sorts of "spare" parts.

Needless to say, he was as optimistic as ever about the future and reiterated his mantra that he is his own boss and that what he is doing with his game will make him a better player in the long run.

While it was his driving and his short game that cost him at the US Open, he says it was mainly his short game and putting that killed his chances in Paris and he will be focussing on that between now and the first round of the Open at Turnberry in just under two weeks' time.

On the face of things it might appear that the triple bogey eight he made on the 14th hole, where he pulled/hooked his tee shot out of bounds, cost him his chance of making the cut. But Harrington pointed to the three putt on the previous green as the real culprit.

"I was trying to get it up in two having effectively played myself out of the tournament on the green before. That wasn’t the fault – it was the three putt on 13," said Harrington, who finished four strokes outside the mark on five-over. "I was never comfortable on the greens this week. I am hoping that’s all it was. The pace of the greens were slow in practice and the practice green was slow all week and I just putted terrible all week and didn’t gain any confidence.

"Obviously that is reflected in the score. I need to hit plenty of chip shots, wedge shots and putts over the next couple of weeks, that’s for sure. I need to work on the putting for the next two weeks. I have been happy with my putting and I still am physically happy but I need to putt better than I did this week. That’s where the focus will be. A few wedge shots as well.

"I hit a lot of nice wedge shots this week but then today on the tenth (bogey) and then yesterday on the tenth (bogey) I hit them over the green and while they are nice shots, the distance wasn’t right. That’s what I’ll be focusing on."

Turnberry is traditionally one of the lower scoring Open venues and Harrington is more of a grinder than a birdie machine these days and will be hoping for some nasty weather and firm conditions.

Set to defend the Irish PGA at The European Club links in Co Wicklow from Wednesday next, he said: "It would be hard to see me going out and shooting 20 under par in great conditions. It would be easier to see me shooting four or six under in tough conditions, battling it out.

"But that could all change next week. I could go out next week and shoot 20 under par at The European Club and think that I am on top of the world. I am not too worried about the set-up at Turnberry I would be more worried about how I am. I can manage any challenge as long as I can manage myself."

Spraying the ball off the tee will not yield results at The European Club, which can be a beast of a course if the wind blows.

Happy with the driving then?

"The driver is certainly not user friendly but I am happy with it," he said.


Overnight Martin Kaymer followed his 62 with a 72 and now trails Rafa Echenique (67) by two shots in a share of second with Steve Webster and Charl Schwartzel.

Just five of the ten strong Irish brigade made the cut with Gareth Maybin (71) on two under and Lowry (72) making his first cut as a professional with two shots to spare on one under with a magnificent birdie three at the 18th the perfect end to a grinding day's work.

Darren Clarke (69), Peter Lawrie (71) and Damien McGrane (72) all finished on level with Michael Hoey left to rue a homeward nine of 40 (front nine) as he missed by a shot after a 73.

Like Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Paul McGinley also shot 75 to finish on five over par while Gary Murphy's 80 leaves him in desperate straits in terms of retaining his card.

The Kilkenny man can normally rely on at least one top finish every season (third in Irish Open last year) to keep the wolf from the door. But he has now missed 10 cuts from 19 starts and at 138th in the Race to Dubai he must be getting anxious. A good cheque in Loch Lomond next week would ease his problems. Last year he made €43,542 in the Barclays Scottish Open for 19th place.

Padraig Harrington talks to European Tour radio