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Harrington, Bowditch serve as overnight leaders

Second Round Update — European Tour — Irish Open — Royal County Down Golf Club — Newcastle, Northern Ireland —

After an opening round 67 in different conditions to take the overnight lead, Padraig Harrington slipped back a bit in round two posting a 73 at Royal County Down in Northern Ireland at the European Tour’s Irish Open.

Harrington, the three-time major champion, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Honda Classic. At 100-to-1 odds heading into the week at www.skybet.com, Harrington’s opening day of seven birdies against three bogeys was the best considering World No. 1 Rory McIlroy slumped to shoot 80. Other high-profile players struggled as well including former U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, who posted 79.

Soren Kjeldsen, another long shot to win this title, currently leads the way at 4-under mid-way through round two. He is 2-under through eight holes in Friday’s round to take a one-shot advantage over four players including Bernd Wiesberger, Richie Ramsay, Matt Ford and Luke Donald. All are on the course at the moment.

Harrington is T-6 at the moment after finishing up round two play. Sergio Garcia looks destined to miss the cut after rounds of 75-79. Only 10 players are under part at the moment, while McIlroy is battling to earn a weekend tee time.

Rory is currently 1-under through 11 holes on his day. But, his 8-over tally has him T-101. He is playing alongside Kaymer and THE PLAYERS champions Rickie Fowler, who is 1-under overall and T-8 at the moment.

Other Golf News:

  • Steven Bowditch continues to lead the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson Championship after firing an opening-round 8-under-62. Weather is delaying round two at the moment. Jimmy Walker is two shots back, while James Hahn and Ryan Palmer are T-3 at 5-under. Bowditch, who missed seven of eight cuts at one point during this season, was bogey-free on his round at TPC Four Seasons near Dallas. His best effort of late has been a T-12 at Zurich Classic. He was runner-up at the Frys.com Open last fall.
  • While Rory is struggling the second week in a row, World No. 2 Jordan Spieth is competing in his own backyard in Texas. Spieth opened with 1-under-69 Thursday and sits T-33 heading into round two action at the Byron Nelson.
  • Walker, a FedEx Cup fixture atop the standings the last two seasons, already has two victories this season — Sony in Hawaii last January and the Valero Texas Open in March. The 36-year-old was a 33-1 betting pick heading into this week.
  • Michelle Wie returns to action after an injury on the LPGA Tour this week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersery. Canada’s Brooke Henderson, continuing her hot play, leads the way early on at 3-under through 14 holes. She is tied with Anna Nordqvist and Hee Young Park. Inbee Park is just a shot back playing her front nine.