PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Padraig Harrington has been on a bit of a roller coaster. He had to grind just to break 80 during the final round of the Honda Classic, needing a 5-footer on the final hole for a 79. He realized the significance of the moment, too, as never in his career has he posted a round of 80 or higher on the PGA Tour.
Following a week off, Harrington’s next official Tour round Thursday at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead was a full 19 shots better – a course-record 61.
On Friday, 24-plus hours after feasting on 10 birdies, Harrington managed only one against three bogeys and signed for 2-over 73. He still was only two shots off Jason Dufner’s lead.
Oh, well. That’s golf. He actually hit three more fairways (nine) in his 73 than he did in his 61. One day after needing only 22 putts he used 33, which included three-putt bogeys on 6 and 7. One day after having 14 one-putt greens, he had five.
“Wasn’t a great deal of difference in the two rounds,” he said. “… Today, some things didn’t go well. Golf is a bit like that.”
Harrington said the difference between the two days felt like “three or four” shots. “There wasn’t 12 shots difference,” he said. “I hope that’s as bad as I ever play, because I’d be thrilled if that was.”
The one stroke he’d love to have back was a 2-foot tap-in he missed for par at the par-4 sixth hole. He failed to go through his normal routine and simply missed it.
“You know, I would actually say, my mother cursed at me for missing the tap-in on 6,” he said. “She wouldn’t be so impressed with me not going through my routine on that.”
He’ll likely fare a little better on Saturday. It’s St. Patrick’s Day.