Padraig Harrington started by looking for a WC before ending his day alongside a disastrous Tiger Woods in facing an MC - missed cut - in the US PGA.
As Woods collapsed to a nightmare 77 - his worst ever opening round and his second worst score in a major - Harrington flirted with missing his tee time as he searched frantically for a toilet before the start.
In the end he made it with only a couple of minutes to spare but like Tiger he failed to fire and posted a three over 73 that leaves him in danger of missing the cut and failing to qualify for the $10m FedEx Cup play-offs.
Woods was tied for the tournament lead early on when he got to three under par after five holes. But he played his last 13 in 10 over and complained that trying to freewheel with a swing that isn’t near to being the finished product was a recipe for disaster.
Furious rather than depressed about a day that left him tied for 130th with the likes of 1976 US Open winner Jerry Pate, Woods said: “I’m not down. I’m really angry right now. There’s a lot of words I could use beyond that.
“I’ve been in this process before. I’ve been through it with Butch; I’ve been through it with Hank; and now I’ve been through it with Sean.
“I just thought, this is a major, and you peak for these events. And once you get to a major championship, you just let it fly, let it go. And I did and it cost me.”
Asked what “adjustments” he planned to make in the second rounds, Woods said: ” It’s going to be a lot. It’s a laundry list.”
Woods and Harrington were certainly taken to the cleaners by US Ryder Cup skipper Davis Love, 47, who hit a two under 68 to keep 63-shooter Steve Stricker in his sights and remain on course to make his own team at Medinah next year.
Harrington was impressed by Love but he nearly missed Woods’ disastrous performance completely after failing to find a toilet before he teed off.
He eventually found one nearly the 18th green, explaining: “You can’t find any toilets out there. I had to leave the course three times today. I don’t know what the story is. Wherever they are, they are well hidden.”
On a day to forget for Woods, Harrington confessed that making the cut is now a massive challenge as he must finish on the back nine with the tough closing stretch from the 15th to the 18th a huge hurdle.
Harrington said: “It’s a big challenge tomorrow. Anyone who is trying to make the cut would always prefer to be finishing on the ninth. Anybody coming the last four holes trying to play them at level par, you know, either to hold onto a good score or to make the cut or whatever the different prerogatives are at that stage; it’s a tough finish.
“The last six holes on this nine you are thinking you can make some birdies. It is not that way on the other nine. I hit plenty of nice shots and a few ropey ones but just too tentative on the greens today.”
Harrington’s round began with a shout of “Fore right!” as his three wood at the par four 10th flew into the crowd and finished in the trees.
But he punched a brilliant recovery through a narrow gap between two towering pines 50 yards away and then holed a six footer for par after his slick 35 foot birdie chance slipped by.
Woods birdied from 15 feet there to get his championship challenge off to a brilliant start. In fact, when Woods and Harrington both got up and down from greenside sand for birdie at the par-five 12th, it looked likely that they would finish alongside the leader.
But while Woods took longer to implode, Harrington’s day started to go wrong at the 13th when his three wood tee shot skidded through the corner of the dogleg and finished on a sideslope in deep bermuda rough.
His third popped up in the air and came up short in a bunker from where he took three to get down.
As Harrington scrambled for his par at the 14th, chipping dead from left of the green, Woods hit a huge drive and a towering approach to four feet to grab a share the early lead on three under.
But their rounds started to disintegrate at the 253-yard, par three 15th where Woods dumped his tee shot in the lake right of the green and racked up a double bogey.
Harrington was short there and missed a six footer for his par to slip to one over for the day. Woods then found two bunkers on the 16th and did well to limit the damage to a bogey that saw him fall back to level par.
But they didn’t stop bleeding and endured more pain at the 491 yard 18th with Harrington making bogey after finding sand off the tee and then laying up short of the water in two.
Woods racked up a double bogey six there, plugging his tee shot in a fairway bunker before hacking out sideways and then pulling his third way left into more sand.
Assessing the closing stretch, Harrington said: “It’s very tough. You know, obviously today, they moved a number of the tees up and it was playable. The 15 was incredibly difficult. I would love to be a spectator and not a player on that one.
“I hit it short left of the green and I was happy. You know, I certainly wasn’t disappointed with my tee shot, and I had a 6 or 8 footer for par, and would have been a bonus to hole it there. But the other three holes didn’t play too bad.
“The 18th I suppose it did a bit, but we were hitting 5-wood off the tee. So you might have a long second shot but we didn’t take I suppose we didn’t take responsibility off the tee, let’s say. We were conservative.
“So  I think the way it played today was an excellent finish, yeah. It will be tough now off the plates as we played it in the practice rounds, but today the finish was very stern. 15 may be a bit too tough. But, the other ones certainly played a lot easier today and it was nice to walk up to each tee and get the extra 20 yards.”
It was a real grind for the Irish world No 69, who admitted that he hit too many poor wedge shots and putted too tentatively to score well.
He said: “The greens were as quick as I’ve seen greens on a Thursday morning and I was tentative all day. I made two bogeys off wedges which is very sloppy and those are going to hurt me. Besides a couple of putts and those two bogeys, I hit plenty of good shots out there but never really got anything going confidence wise or momentum wise.”
Ranked 130th in the FedEx Cup, Harrington must make the cut to have any chance of making the top 125 who will contest the first event at the end of the month
Facing match ball today, he said: “There is a lot of damage done and it is only going to get tougher tomorrow afternoon. The greens are going to be faster again and a little bumpier and there is going to be a little bit of wind.
“Today was the day to get your better score in. There is obviously a bit of work to be done but I did see some very nice things out there.”
Woods crashed to his worst score in a major since he shot 81 in the third round of the storm-hit 2002 Open at Muirfield. It was also his worst ever opening round in a major.
He looked superb early on with birdies at the 10th, 12th and 14th sending him to the top of the leaderboard at three under.
But he lost the plot from the moment he dumped his tee shot in the water at the 260-yard 15th and followed a double bogey there with a bogey at the next and another double at the 18th.
Struggling off the tee, he visited 12 bunkers and hit water twice as he limped home with four bogeys, a double bogey and just one birdie in a back nine of 40.
Harrington said he tried not to look as Woods hacked his way around Atlanta Athletic Club, explaining: “You try not to get into it too much of what another player is doing, especially if it isn’t going well for him.
“As I said, Davis’ score was very good to shoot two under par when he wasn’t watching his playing partners hole lots of putts or rip it up.”
Love joked that he should have the cut off for Ryder Cup qualification this week if he plays well and remains eighth in the US table.
And Harrington added: “He is playing lovely golf. His two under par was well within him. He probably could have been a couple better.”