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Sloppy conditions at PGA National as Rory misses cut, Harrington leads

Weekend Preview –PGA Tour – The Honda Classic – PGA National – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida –

Thanks to weather delays earlier in the week, the PGA Tour field at The Honda Classic finished up round two early Saturday at PGA National.

Padraig Harrington, the 43-year-old three-time major champion, is standing atop the leader board at the moment through 36 sloppy holes at the rain-soaked layout.

Harrington is 7-under at the half way point, last winning on the PGA Tour at the 2008 PGA Championship. He closed out his second round on Saturday with a bogey-bogey finish after having reached 9-under overall.

Harrington is a shot clear of Patrick Reed, a winner at the season-opener at the Hyundai Tournament of Harrington reached 9-under but finished bogey-bogeyChampions, shot 67-67. At No. 16 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Reed logged five birdies against a double bogey in round two.

Three players are tied for third at the moment including England’s Ian Poulter, first-round leader Jim Herman and Brendan Steele. Herman and Steele are both finishing up round-two play before the cut is made, players are re-grouped and the beginning of round three commences.

Poulter, 39, hasn’t won since the 2012 WGC-HSBC Champions. He is alone in third place at 5-under through two rounds. His second-round 64 has him in position heading into the weekend. He opened the week as a 100-to-1 betting long shot at www.skybet.com.

Luke Donald, a former World No. 1 and champion at this event in 2006, is 4-under through 36 holes. He was T-8 a season ago and was a runner-up here in 2008. Several veteran players are in the mix this week including Phil Mickelson, who is 2-under through two rounds and inside the Top 10.

At the close of play Friday, only a handful of players were under par as rain, high winds and a difficult test of golf (including the Bear Trap) was taking its toll on the game’s best players including World No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

A clear betting favorite heading into the week, Rory was making his 2015 PGA Tour debut after a strong start to the European Tour season – a victory at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and a runner-up finish.

McIlroy opened the week with a double bogey and seemed to never recover. It was a bit of shocker considering his history at PGA National, which included a victory here in 2012 and a playoff loss a season ago.

Several others destined to miss the cut included Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel, Sang Moon Bae, Billy Horschel and Justin Rose.

Look for scramblers to fare well the rest of the way with weather issues expected to challenge throughout the weekend.

Other Golf news:

  • Lydia Ko, playing on the Ladies European Tour this week at the New Zealand Open, was four back after the first round on Friday. She shot 2-under-70.
  • Harrington entered the week at 297th in the world rankings.
  • Brooks Koepka, a champion earlier this season at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, made the cut with second-round 64 (scattering two bogeys around eight birdies). He opened with 78 and looked doomed for the weekend. He won the European Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open late last year.
  • Stacy Lewis (13-under) shot 73 in round three but continues to lead the Honda LPGA Thailand. Lewis is a shot ahead of Amy Yang, who was runner-up last week on tour, and is two clear of Sandra Gal, who posted 68 in round three. Yani Tseng, former Rolex Ranking No. 1, is 8-under and alone in sixth place.