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Harrington contends, then falls

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By John Manley

Padraig Harrington was in the thick of the scramble, only a stroke off the lead midway through last weekend’s BellSouth Classic at TPC at Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga. But a third-round 73 dropped him to five strokes back. Sunday saw him struggle to a closing 74 and an eighth-place tie at seven-under-par 281 (69-65-73-74).

Everything was going Harrington’s way on Friday. He went out in 32, and recorded eagles on the 6th and 18th holes, both par 5s. The tide turned on Saturday, though, when he bogeyed four of the first eight holes. He did the same thing on Sunday, going out in 40, while coming in with 34 on the back nine.

Retief Goosen took this Masters prep with 272. Harrington earned $106,400.

The action moves to Augusta this week, where Harrington will be joined by Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley and Michael Hoey, each of whom aspires to be the first Irishman to don the green jacket in Butler Cabin after completion of the Masters.

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The Algarve Open de Portugal at Vale de Lobo was trimmed to 36 holes due to high winds that made conditions unplayable. Des Smyth led a small Irish contingent with a 31st-place tie at 149 (75-74). David Higgins tied for 81st place at 154 (75-79), while Philip Walton shared 111th place at 158 (75-83).

Carl Pettersson and David Gilford finished at 142, with Pettersson winning a playoff.

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