You could never call Padraig Harrington boring. Even when he is flying along at the top of the leaderboard, he finds a way to make it interesting.

In the second round of the Shell Houston Open, the 39-year old Dubliner produced five birdies and a bogey in his first 10 holes before an interloper threathen to take over.

The interference came from Harrington himself, who dropped three shots in a row at the second, third and fourth to undo much of his day’s work before battening down the hatches.

He was just thinking of getting back to the safety of the clubhouse when he hit a glorious five iron to the back shelf of the par-five eighth and holed a 15 footer for an eagle and a three under 69 that left him tied for fourth place at halfway, two shots behind surprise leader Chris Kirk.

Harrington is amazingly hair-brained for such a focussed sportsman. He is sporting a heavy stubble in Texas because he forgot the handle of his razor and hasn’t found time to go shopping for another.

You get the feeling that Harrington is close to his best again but it will take time for him to fully trust the new moves in his swing.

“I played good golf over the two days at times and great, plenty of birdie chances, ” he said. “I just have to trust it a little bit more. I feeling there is a little bit more in me, if I could get out of my own way.”

Explaining where he finds himself in his career, he said: “I’ve gone through a lot of closure. I have a great understanding of where my game is at, why I hit good and bad shots, you know. So that’s realistically, you know, I still hit the bad shots, but I have an understanding of what’s happening, and that gives me a lot of peace, let’s say.

“I felt that way going into Transitions and I missed the cut. So, you know, I thought I played well in Transitions. It’s not like it’s — it’s not on a string or anything like that, it’s not that dependable, but definitely I’m a lot happier where I am than I would have been at any stage over the last 20 years.”