Thankfully, while many of the home favourites faltered at Portstewart, Padraig Harrington stood strong.
The three-time major winner fired a second round 69 to finish day two on seven under par, in a share of 12th place, six shots behind the leaders.
By his own admission Harrington isn’t firing on all cylinders at Portstewart.
“I played average, kind of scored average,” said the 46-year-old.
“I didn’t get off to a great start. Missed the putt on the first hole. Got the pace wrong on the green. Hit a lovely putt and I was well out and that kind of threw me a bit. The rest of the day I just seemed to be a little bit trying to play catch up.”
After the dropped shot at the first Padraig responded with three birdies on the front nine turning in two under 34. He added two more birdies on his way home at the 11th and 14th, before dropping his second shot of the round at the 16th
“You want to make some birdies out there to get ahead of the game, because there is a lot of birdies to be made,” added Padraig, who missed a three-foot birdie putt at the 18th.
“You are trying to stay patient but you always have an eye on under par and to do that you have to make some birdies. I wasn’t quite that way today, four-under, with three to play, I know they are tough holes.
“Missing the short putt on the last, it’s a little bit of a disappointing finish. As I said a little bit outside my control. Like I hit a good putt on the last.”
The 18th also accounted for Graeme McDowell who was inside the cut mark playing the 18th, found a bunker off the tee and finished with a double-bogey that saw him miss the weekend action.
It’s been a familiar tale for GMAC this season, who is making previously unheard of mistakes that result in costly double-bogeys.
The normally media friendly Portrush native declined to do interviews after storming off the 18th but later tweeted; “Got to say a huge thanks to everyone this week for their support both on and off course. Always a special week at @DDFIrishOpen.
“So frustrated with my own game at the minute. Hitting it so well in practice but confidence low in competition. Got to stay on the journey.”