Padraig Harrington plays to the seventh in the final round of the 2012 Open. Photo Eoin Clarke/www.golffile.iePadraig Harrington wants golf chiefs to ban the long putter - or give him back his groove thing.

The three-time major winner is convinced that belly and the broom-handle putters will eventually be made illegal by the R&A.

But if he doesn’t happen soon he joked that the blazers at St Andrews should reverse their ban on the sharp grooves in wedges imposed two years ago.

Convinced that the long putter will eventually get the boot, Harrington said: “I suspect, not because I have any knowledge, that they’re going to ban the long putter.

“It doesn’t take away from a guy using it at the moment because you can use whatever you like within the rules.

“But it’s like the grooves ban. The grooves were a big advantage to me. They were within the rules, now they’re not within the rules.

“I just hope they don’t wait until I’m 50 years of age to change the rule on the long putter because if the standard of putting goes up, it puts more pressure on the guys that aren’t using one just to compete.

“Put it this way. If someone invented the belly putter or the long putter tomorrow. If somebody came up with it tomorrow, there’s no way they’d let it through.”

Harrington reckons the R&A should give players an 18 month warning before imposing a ban that could come following next September’s rules review.

“They give it 18 months or something like that before they said, that’s it,” he said. “You can use it up to that date, but you’d better practise with something else to get ready.  

“The fact that they changed the groove rule has cost me shots, fact. So I don’t have any sympathy for anybody that comes out and says, I’d like to have the grooves back.

Asked for a possible solution, he said: “Make it a rule that the putter should be the shortest club in the bag.”

Harrington tried David Duval’s putter on the practice green on Saturday and decided it wasn’t for him.

Harrington tried David Duval’s putter on the practice green on Saturday and decided it wasn’t for him.

“I hit the first two really nicely, and then I had two short putts,” he said, grinning. “And then I said, maybe not.”

He also failed to hole the putts as he closed with a three over 73 to finish tied for 39th on five over.

And the world No 59 admits that he has no-one but himself to blame if he fails to win a seventh Ryder Cup cap in September

He’ll miss next week’s no-cut WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and some easy qualifying points.

And he knows that he needs massive performances in the Reno-Tahoe Open and the US PGA to keep his hopes alive of making Jose Maria Olazabal’s team.

Harrington said: “There’s only seven weeks where you’re guaranteed World Ranking points, and I was in none of the seven.

“So it’s my own fault for not playing well enough last year.

“To miss out on those seven events obviously makes it a tough ask and that’s why it’s always a tough ask for the rookies to make the team.

“If you’re not qualified for all the events, it’s hard to make it up, especially if you don’t win. That’s what I haven’t done - win.”

As for his final, birdie free round, Harrington said: “It was pretty much the opposite of yesterday. I really struggled on the greens. I didn’t hole anything for birdie and made three bad bogeys and that was it. I had plenty of chances, just wasn’t holing the putts.

“It wasn’t the worst week in the world, what can I say. I’ve done a lot worse than 42nd [he was eventually tied 39th] in a tournament.

“I played okay the first few days. I got my head in the right place the first few days, the game just wasn’t there. I’ve got to be very happy with that, actually very happy.

“I couldn’t be happier with how my game is. This week I didn’t have a great week on the greens at times. But it wasn’t far away, either.

“As much as I’d like to play next week, and I considered it, it wouldn’t be good preparation for the PGA. So at the end of the day, I did consider going, playing next week and not the week after.”

Winning again would solve all Harrington’s problems and he truly believes he’s close to his best again.

“Well, I nearly birdied the last to get into a playoff in the U.S. Open only a few weeks ago. I’m playing as good as I’ve ever played. I could putt a little bit better.

“But even then I’m putting better than I have been. So I’m in good stead. As I said, guys, five over par, you’d be surprised how quickly, you know, that turns into a one or two or three under , and everybody is saying, oh, you had another good week. So certainly don’t think it’s a bad week.”