Overnight leader, Padraig Harrington was remaining upbeat despite carding a three-over par 73 that saw him drop down the board on day two of the Irish Open at Lahinch.
The three-time Major champion was out in the worst of the conditions this morning and duly struggled, dropping four shots in his first seven holes as the tournament threatened to slip away from him.
But typically, Harrington drew on his wealth of experience to rally, posting two birdies on his way home, including a heartening one at the last to hang tough at minus-four for the tournament, leaving Harrington right in the thick of things heading for the weekend, currently four back of Eddie Pepperell’s lead.
“It really was tough conditions,” Harrington reflected on a morning that transformed the test of the famous County Clare links.
“All my bogeys, three of them were three putts, the other two were chips from the edge of the green so I could have negated them with a good short game on a bad day. I was just a bit tentative.
“You have to stick in there. I was a bit better on the back nine but the conditions improved a lot – it really felt tough early on. The leaders have done well and maybe the afternoon guys are going to get a bit of an advantage with the weather but hopefully I haven’t done too much damage. Four-under par is still somewhat in it.”
What’s for sure is that it won’t be for a lack of cheers that Harrington comes up short, should he do so over the weekend. The crowds have gathered for Padraig’s renaissance so far this week and he remains bullish about his chances despite hitting a speed bump on day two.
“I don’t lack support, that’s for sure,” he smiled. “As I said yesterday, shooting a low one on the first day gives you lots of different scenarios to get yourself into the tournament. One of them is shooting 73 in the second round, I wish it wasn’t! Hopefully I have another 63 in me for the weekend.”
Meanwhile, Paul Dunne found two crucial birdies on his inward half that should prove enough to see him through to the weekend. The Greystones golfer was languishing down the board at two-over through 12 holes but picked up shots at 13 and 17 to grind his way back to parity for the tournament with the projected cut currently at plus-one.
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