Padraig Harrington decision to use a belly putter failed to pay the dividends he hoped for as he slumped to an eight-over par 80 at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina today.

Harrington, who had long been a vocal opponent of the controversial anchored putters, used one for the first time in competition but it was his long play rather than his putting that let him down.

The three-time major winner hitting only 57 per cent of fairways and 33 per cent of greens in regulation and looks set to miss the cut at the weekend.

At the other end of the leaderboard, Nick Watney and Ryan Moore held the clubhouse lead but they were being stalked by a host of big names.

Watney and Moore both shot rounds of 67 to sit on five under but Phil Mickelson and Boo Weekley were just a shot further back.

Moore turned in a faultless card with four birdies on the back nine, including three in a row from 13 to 15, moving him into the lead.

Birdies on the first three holes got Watney off to a flier and he reached the turn in 31 but he lost some momentum as he parred his way home.

Weekley, who was in contention and finished tied for sixth in New Orleans last week, recorded five birdies and a bogey on his way to a 68 with Mickelson also showing just a single blemish.

Former Ryder Cup player Robert Karlsson was another shot back as the Swede recorded just two bogeys while US Open champion Webb Simpson was two under.

Englishman David Lynn went round in 71 to sit one under while Sergio Garcia, Martin Kaymer and Rickie Fowler all recorded level-par rounds.

Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy and Martin Laird were amongst the later starters.