When Pádraig Harrington birdied the opening two holes of his second round at the 150th Open Championship it seemed inevitable that the two-time Champion Golfer of the Year was going to battle his way into the mix heading into the weekend at St Andrews.
However, a four-putt double bogey on the sixth hole, which was a clear sign of the dreaded yips still plaguing him, put paid to his challenge and he continued to tumble down the leaderboard eventually missing the cut on three-over after a six-over 78.
“It was one of those days,” shrugged Harrington. “A couple of bad drives early on didn’t help for the rest of the day. I hit a couple of bad putts. I couldn’t figure out — but it didn’t matter what I did after that. If I hit a perfect putt, it would miss.
“12 and 13, effectively two penalty shots there off reasonable shots. Yeah, it’s one of those days. You know the day when you — you know the time you’re making bogeys. Another time you get a bit of a break and you make a birdie. I would say everything that could possibly be compounded was compounded today.”
The 50-year-old moved to within three of the lead on five-under after two holes but back-to-back bogeys on the fourth and par-5 5th were compounded by a ridiculous four-putt on the sixth where he missed a one footer for the double bogey six.
The wind was completely knocked out of the three-time major winners sails who has been battling fatigue and pain after a marathon few weeks that won’t stop with the Senior Open at Gleneagles next week.
Harrington added further dropped shots on 8, 11, 12 and 15 to bring his bid for a hat trick of Claret Jugs to a disappointing end although he was already over it by the time he addressed the media.
“I’m not stressing it too much. I’ve seen plenty of good stuff in the last period of time on the greens. I’ve been playing well, and there’ve been some good days on the greens. I’m not going to worry about it.”
There haven’t been many low points for Seamus Power over the last 12 months but missing the cut on his Open Championship debut will sting.
The Waterford native had never played a major championship in his career until he teed it up at Augusta in April and having made the cut there he followed that with two further cuts at the PGA Championship and US Open, coming 9th in the former but he never looked like making it four cuts out of four at the Home of Golf this week as he slumped to a three-over 75 and a four-over total.
“I just didn’t play really well, to be honest, that’s about it, said a disappointed Power. “I just didn’t play very well. I just didn’t do anything particularly well. Didn’t give myself much of a chance.”
The Tooraneena man was grouped with Brooks Koepka and halfway leader Cameron Smith who was sensational in his eight-under 64 as he threatened to become the first man to shoot ten-under in a major championship round. Unfortunately, the 35-year-old was unable to feed off the Aussie on either day and he admitted he was never in the comfort zone and was fighting his swing coming into the final major of the year.
“Yeah, that’s golf sometimes. You always like playing with someone who is playing well, but obviously you need to be able to execute on your shots yourself.
“I definitely never got comfortable. Today was an odd day. My biggest struggle is, like a lot of righties, a left-to-right wind. And we timed it horribly today. So we played 16 of the 18 holes in a left-to-right wind, which is almost impossible to do normally.
“Then I made a couple of mistakes. I said it’s a difficult golf course when you’re behind. There’s four or five obvious chances, and then outside of that you have to hit to 40, 50 feet and be okay with it.
“And I wasn’t playing well enough to take advantage of the ones that you should take advantage of. And you’re trying to chase your tail on the other ones. And you just kind of — you get out of position and it’s difficult.
“And then you combine that with I didn’t make many putts from distance. And you know, you just don’t leave yourself many opportunities,” added Power who will decide whether to tee it up on the PGA Tour next week or not in the coming days.
Ronan Mullarney and Darren Clarke are also heading home early after both shot halfway totals of seven and ten-over respectively.
2011 winner Clarke was much improved with a three-over 76 while Galway’s Mullarney stumbled to a disappointing 79.