By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- What a difference a day makes. After setting a course record in the opening round, Padraig Harrington was a dozen shots worse Friday, carding a 2-over 73.
The major difference for Harrington, who began the day with a three-shot lead and ended it trailing by two, was putting. Thursday, he had 14 one-putts and 22 putts overall. Friday, he had just five one-putts and worse yet 33 total putts.
“When you're leading the tournament, it's hard not to be a little bit cautious and I think at times I was on the greens,” Harrington said. “I struggled to get the ball up to the hole a lot today.”
Especially on Nos. 6 and 7 -- Harrington’s 15th and 16th holes of the round -- where he made back-to-back bogeys after missing from just over a foot and just inside 5 feet, respectively.
“I was surprised I missed it but there you go,” Harrington said of the putt on the sixth. “I didn't go through my routine on it but I still marked it and put it down and read it and did that. Just one of those things.”
In all, Harrington missed four putts inside 10 feet and didn’t make any outside that range.
As a result, he made just one birdie, which came on his second hole of the day when he chipped to 6 feet on the par-5 11th.
”These things happen,” Harrington said. “I realize that after shooting 61, I could obviously keep playing well and go on and win the tournament by going away from everybody.
“It would have been okay if I got to that clubhouse and certainly shooting 70 or so. But I'm glad it's not Sunday. I know I have to putt a little bit better on Sunday and you've got to have a little bit more flow if you're going to win tournaments. I didn't do that much damage today.”