Padraig Harrington birdie blitz not enough
Bad news for Padraig Harrington could mean a silver lining for the 80,000 fans expected to visit Royal County Down for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open this week.
The three-time Major winner staged a defiant rearguard action to come agonisingly close to making a play-off for one of the 11 US Open qualifying places available at Walton Heath yesterday.
But a bogey on the last at Walton Heath's Old Course halted the Harrington Express and left him one shot away from contesting the final spot on offer.
That meant disappointment for Harrington but the hope is that he has recovered from the shoulder injury which caused him to withdraw early in the first round of the BMW PGA Championship last Thursday.
Harrington is due at Royal County Down today and if there is no adverse reaction to his playing 36 holes yesterday, the home fans will be delighted.
Harrington played his first 18 at Walton Heath in level-par 72 and needed a good second round.
Out in one-under-par 34, the Dubliner finally found his mojo with a sparkling run of four successive birdies from holes 13 through 16, to get to five-under par.
He needed to finish with par on holes 17 and 18, but a bogey five on the last left him on four-under and just outside the mark for a play-off.
Ireland's other competitors Peter Lawrie and Gareth Maybin also failed in their bid for a place at Chambers Bay next month.
They finished on one-under and level-par respectively.