Harrington comes up short at Riviera
 Pádraig Harrington watches the flight out a shot in the first round 75 that did all the damage. Picture Kenneth E Dennis/  kendennisphoto.com

Pádraig Harrington watches the flight out a shot in the first round 75 that did all the damage. Picture Kenneth E Dennis/ kendennisphoto.com

Pádraig Harrington made a brave bid to make the cut but came up short as two bogeys in his last three holes undid all his good work in the Northern Trust Open.

While six players must return to Riviera Country Club on Saturday morning to complete their second rounds after play was suspended due to darkness, Harrington will not be one of them after he carded a one under 70 to finish two shots outside the projected cut mark on three over par.

The 42-year old Dubliner was always going to find it a tough task to avoid a third missed cut from his last four starts after opening with that crippling, four over 75.

But he produced some fine golf to caress the "miracle", picking up three birdies without error in his first 14 holes to haul his way up into joint 70th before tripping up within sight of the finishing line.

Four closing par would have been enough but a bogey at the seventh (his 16th), where he missed the green from the fairway from 159 yards and failed to get up and down, proved fatal.

 Pádraig Harrington and his caddie Ronan Flood at Riviera Country Club during the first round. Picture Kenneth E Dennis/  kendennisphoto.com

Pádraig Harrington and his caddie Ronan Flood at Riviera Country Club during the first round. Picture Kenneth E Dennis/ kendennisphoto.com

The three-time major winner had a chance to get that shot back at the eighth but missed a birdie chance from seven feet.

Needing a birdie at the ninth to survive, he drove into the left rough, overshot the green with his approach from 146 yards and missed an 18 footer for par after leaving himself a tricky chip.

The world No 133 now has a week off before returning to action at the Honda Classic and while he will take some comfort from some excellent play in the second round, his inconsistency in the scoring department is proving costly.

Starting on the back nine, he got off to the perfect start when he hit his tee shot to the front edge of the driveable 10th green and got up and down for birdie.

He couldn't do the same from left of the par-five 11th but saved a great par after overshooting the tough 12th and then played solidly for the next five holes before holing a clutch eight footer for par at the 18th to turn for home with his hopes alive.

A missed five footer for birdie at the first might have been a blow, but Harrington rolled home an 18 footer for birdie at the third and a 15 footer for another birdie at the fifth to haul himself onto the one over par projected cut mark as light faded.

Then came that unfortunate finish.

At the business end of the leaderboard, South Korea's Sang-Moon Bae added a five under 66 to his opening 67 to lead by a stroke on nine under par from Aaron Baddeley (65) and Robert Garrigus (67).

Leaderboard

US Open champion Justin Rose was cruising at four under for the tournament with seven holes of his second round remaining but triple bogeyed the 12th and dropped another shot at the next to slip back to tied 55th on level par after a 72.