Shane OK in Farmers but wayward Padraig KO

Shane Lowry equalled is career low round on US soil to move into contention in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. But it was a day to forget for Padraig Harrington, who was in the top-five after an early chip-in for eagle before his long game woes led to a rash of dropped shots and he crashed to a 79 on the tough South Course to miss the cut by five strokes.

Lowry completed the final three holes of his opening round on the South Course early in the day, picking up a birdie at the last to post a two over 74.

He was well outside the cut mark as he took on the easier North Course but he made six birdies in an impressive, five under 67 to end the day tied for 33rd on three under par, seven strokes behind leader Harris English but only three outside the Top-10.

It represented a nice start to 2015 for Lowry but as the Offaly man was climbing the leaderboard, Harrington was going the other way.

Starting on the back nine on the South Course, he holed a unlikely pitch shot from greenside rough for an eagle three at the 13th to move into the top-five at five under par.

 Pádraig Harrington cuts up a wedge and holes out for eagle

Pádraig Harrington cuts up a wedge and holes out for eagle

Having opened with a 69 on the North, it looked as though the Dubliner was about to challenge for the win he needs to qualify for the Masters.

But his joy was short lived as he missed fairway after fairway and followed his eagle with four bogeys in a row to turn in 38. He then covered his back nine in 41, posting three further bogeys as well as a double bogey seven at his 15th hole.

The 43-year old now has a few days off to prepare for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am but ater hitting only 10 of 28 fairways and just 13 of 36 greens (he hit just two greens on Friday), Harrington clearly has work to do.

He wasn't the only big name victim at Torrey Pines. Following the withdrawal of Tiger Woods with a back problem on Thursday, Phil Mickelson putted very poorly and missed the cut for the second week running. 

That's something the left-hander hasn't done since February 2002 and he was clearly frustrated as he shot a level-par 72 on the North course to miss the cut by three strokes.

"You can't compete out here putting the way I did," said Mickelson, who three-putted five times through 36 holes. "It was one of the worst putting performances and the first few weeks really have been the same way and you simply can't compete at this level putting like that.

"I look up and the ball's not going in the hole," Mickelson said. "I don't know how else to say it. That's got to change.

"I spent a lot of time in the offseason with ball-striking, with driving, with a lot of the areas that I'm doing well right now, primarily because I thought my putting was fine. 

"I had putted phenomenal all of 2013 and even the last few months of 2014. I felt that wasn't going to be an issue, but it is."

Set to take some time off before returning in Florida, Mickelson said: "I'm down, I'm frustrated because I see other parts of my game do very well, but putting as bad as I have, it starts to creep into some of the other areas, too.

"I don't think it will be a quick fix, just because you putt bad for a few weeks, it's going to take a little bit of good rounds, it will take not only some fundamental change, but it will take some good low rounds and some hot putting streaks to get confidence back, too."

While English shot a 66 on the North to grab a two-shot lead on 10 under over Martin Laird (68), Jhonattan Vegas (69) and Nick Watney (65), there were other victims.

Justin Rose, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson all missed the cut while Brooks Koepka five-putted the 18th on the South for a double bogey seven.

His first putt from 64 feet finished just inside six feet but he four putted from there for a 74 that dropped him to tied 21st on four under.

At least he had a sense of humour about it later....