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Dublin: 2°C Saturday 26 September 2020

Harrington has nightmare round -- but don't blame it on the belly putter

Padraig Harrington shot a dismal eight-over par on the opening day at Quail Hollow.

Image: Lynne Cameron/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Updated 22:35

PADRAIG HARRINGTON WENT belly-up as he shot a disastrous eight-over par on the opening day of the Wells Fargo Championship.

Using the controversial belly putter for the first time, Harrington had nine bogeys in a nightmare round which left him 13 shots adrift of early leaders Ryan Moore, Nick Watney and Robert Garrigus.

It was a u-turn for the Dubliner who previously came out in support of the move to ban all anchored clubs from tour competition.

“I was at home last week and I was messing around with a belly putter and it felt very good,” Harrington wrote on his website. “I decided to bring it with me this week and see how it would go in practice.

Having used it for the two days I am probably going to use it in the tournament; I putted nicely with it in the pro-am and so am happy to try it out.

Harrington won’t be able to pin his dismal showing on the new putter though. He only needed 33 putts in Quail Hollow today and instead struggled from tee to green, hitting just six greens in regulation.

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The nightmare began with a bogey on the first as the three-time Major winner pulled his drive right into the rough and then overshot the green before missing a four-foot putt for par.

After steadying the ship with pars on two and three, he went on run of five bogeys in six holes to close out a front nine to forget.

Matters improved slightly on the back nine but his only birdie of the day — a three-footer at the par five 15th — wasn’t enough to make up for further bogeys at 12, 13 and 17.

World number two Rory McIlroy was having an altogether better day and finished on -5. He is one behind clubhouse leader, David Summerhays.

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Niall Kelly

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