Harrington wastes cut chance with three-putt nightmare
Pádraig Harrington walks off the 13th with high hopes after a sensational bunker shot set up a birdie. 

Pádraig Harrington walks off the 13th with high hopes after a sensational bunker shot set up a birdie. 

Pádraig Harrington was certain to miss his second successive cut after a frustrating three-putt on the 18th - his second on the back nine - left him a shot shy of salvation in the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale.

The Dubliner, 42, left himself on the ropes after a two over 73 on Thursday and while he bounced back with a 69, his putting (abetted by some poor wedge shots) let him down again.

A 115-yard approach to the last sailed nearly 40 feet past the hole and he three-putted for bogey five to finish a shot outside the projected cut mark, tied for 78th on level par with just four players to complete their second rounds after play was suspended due to darkness.

The three time major winner made just one birdie on the front nine on a day when an estimated crowd of 123,674 packed the venue to see Bubba Watson (66) and Australian Matt Jones (65) grab a two-stroke clubhouse lead on 12 under.

That his birdie at the seventh came when he holed out from 47 feet from a greenside trap said it all.

When he three-putted the 12th from 30 feet, knocking his approach putt six feet past the hole, he knew he needed a hot finish to have any chance of getting two more rounds in an event where he went out in the final group on Sunday last year.

A spectacular, 84-yard bunker shot that spun back to just three and a half feet, set up a morale boosting birdie at the par-five 13th. 

He then birdied the next, hitting a 150 yard approach from the left rough to eight feet before rolling in the putt to go two under for the day.

He still needed to play the last four holes in one under to ensure he made the weekend, but it was not to be.

Having missed an eight-foot birdie chance at the 15th, he two-putted the 16th for par but then birdied the driveable, 334-yard 17th by chipping to six feet and holing the putt to move inside the cut mark.

Alas, it was not to be for a man who needs a PGA Tour win to qualify automatically for the Masters and also get back into the world's Top 50 following his slide to 130th this week.

A massive 325 yard drive left him just 115 yards to the hole but he fired his approach 37 feet beyond the hole, knocked his birdie putt 10 feet past and missed the one back.

Jone and Watson lead by two strokes on 12 under from Greg Chalmers of Australia and Harris English with defending champion Phil Mickelson eight shots back after a 67.

But it was a bad day for some other big names too. 

England's Lee Westwood followed up his 67 on Thursday with a 75 that included four bogeys and a double-bogey to end the day alongside Harrington on level par.

Another Ryder Cup star, former US PGA winner Keegan Bradley, added an 80 to his opening 66 to miss out on four over.

Mickelson overcame a back injury to make the cut at a cool and breezy TPC Scottsdale.

"I'm not totally out of it," Mickelson said. "I'd like to be closer, but as we have seen in the past, there is that 8-, 9-, 10-, in some cases 11-under par round out there."

The three-time champion has shot 11-under 60 twice in the event, in the second round in his 2005 victory and last year in the first round.