Putting gloss fades for Pádraig in Valspar 76
 Pádraig Harrington allows himself a wry smile after making a birdie in the opening round of the Valspar Championship. Picture via PGA TOUR

Pádraig Harrington allows himself a wry smile after making a birdie in the opening round of the Valspar Championship. Picture via PGA TOUR

Just 10 days after ending a near seven-year drought with a brilliant performance on the greens down the stretch, Pádraig Harrington found himself back in the desert on the PGA Tour following a poor putting show in the opening round of the Valspar Championship.

The Honda Classic winner, no stranger to what he calls the twin imposters of success and failure, three-putted twice and missed five putts inside five feet in a five over 76 that left him 11 strokes behind clubhouse leader Brian Davis.

Having putted in the dark to find some light at the end of the tunnel on the night before his dramatic Monday win in Palm Beach Gardens, Harrington struggled from short range again on the greens of Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course.

Grouped with world No 4 Adam Scott (71) and No 10 Jordan Spieth (70) following years of banishment to the early or late tee times due, Harrington double bogeyed his opening hole and was on the back foot for the rest of the day.

After driving into the trees right of the 460-yard 10th, he chipped back to the fairway, fired his third to 14 feet and three-putted for a six, missing from three feet for bogey.

According to Shotlink, it was to be the first of five short putts missed in a 32-putt round for the three-time major winner.

He never saw the fairway as he took six at the par-five 11th to go three over after two holes, missing a four footer for par there before pulling a shot back at the par-five 14th, where he holed a 12 footer.

Pádraig Harrington birdies the fifth

A bogey at the 16th, where he drove into the left trees was followed by another missed three footer, this time for par at the 215-yard 17th, where he was in sand from the tee.

He parred the 18th to turn in four over 39 and immediately two-putted the par-five first for a welcome birdie after two great shots to the heart of the green.

But there was to be no let up at the Palm Harbor venue.

Back to three over, he then missed the green at the 195-yard fourth and three-putted from five feet, missing from less than three feet for bogey to go five over again.

He almost holed his third from 120 yards at the par-five fifth and holed out from three feet for birdie to get back to four over.

But having holed a six footer for par at the sixth, he hit another wild drive left at the seventh and ended up missing a five footer for par.