Pádraig Harrington will give the belly putter a second chance in practice at Sawgrass this week before deciding if he will use it to try and banish the demons of his worst performance as a professional.
“I shot rounds of 80 and 75 to miss the cut by nine shots. Quail Hollow is a tough golf course, but not that tough that I should be shooting scores like that.”
The Dublier finished joint last in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow - a career first - but blamed his short game, especially his chipping and his bunker play, rather than the belly putter he put in the bag for the first time.
Writing on his website, Harrington said: “The main problem was my chipping. I hit a lot of poor chip shots that didn’t really give me a chance to get up and down. But when I did hit a good chip I tended to miss the putt.
“I couldn’t say that it was the fault of the long putter, in actual fact I like the feel of it in terms of how my stroke felt with it but I wasn’t overly comfortable with the alignment. I will work with it again during the practice days next week and see how it feels.”
Harrington described his performace at Quail Hollow as “very disappointing” but while he tried hard to sound positive about aspects of his game, he confessed that he simply can’t compete if his short game and putting are AWOL.
“I am actually very positive about my game and in both rounds I hit a lot good shots,” he wrote, before adding, “I know that it is hard to believe when you look at my scores but there were many very good solid shots.
“My main problem was actually my short game. Over the two rounds I was very poor when it came to scrambling. I got less than one out of every four up and down and lost nearly three shots to the field in putting.
“It just isn’t possible to play when this happens, especially when I am not the sort of person that hits 16 greens a round.
“I know that my driving and greens in regulation stats weren’t great either, but they weren’t terrible and if my short game was up to scratch I am confident that I would have made the cut.
“I am not saying that I would have been contending in the tournament but I definitely feel that I would have been playing over the weekend.”
Harrington celebrated his wife Caroline’s 40th birthday in Charlotte over the weekend but still did some pratice, mainly on his chipping and bunker play, he said. There was no mention of putting practice.
“I am happy with what I am doing in my long game and will see Pete Cowen on Monday for a short while to check a few things out,” he wrote from the Players Championship.
“I would actually think that we will spend most of our time on my bunker play as it was very poor this week. In fact, I wasn’t confident on any bunker shot I hit.”
Harrington was 85th in the PGA Tour Scrambling stats before last week but plummeted 62 places to 147th.
Padraig Harrington’s scrambling rank
- 2013 147th
- 2012 39th
- 2011 49th
- 2010 42nd
- 2009 11th
- 2008 21st
- 2007 15th
- 2006 36th
- 2005 170th