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Dublin: 0°C Thursday 6 May 2021

Rory may have missed the cut but Harrington has stormed into the lead in Florida

The Dubliner is one shot clear of Patrick Reed after two rounds.

Farmers Insurance Open Golf Source: AP/Press Association Images

RORY MCILROY’S PREPARATIONS for the Masters received a setback as he missed his first cut in nine months but Padraig Harrington has stormed into the lead at the Honda Classic in Florida.

Harrington shot a four-under par 66 to take a one-shot lead over Patrick Reed into the third round but his advantage could have more but for a bogey-bogey finish.

The Dubliner was four shots adrift when the second round was suspended on Friday evening due to darkness but upon the resumption, made a storming start as he recorded successive birdies before four more came after the turn.

However, a poor finish reduced his lead ahead of this evening’s third round.

“At times I get lost and distracted from the process,” Harrington said. “Ultimately that’s what has changed. I had it going out there for a while. I was struggling with it the last couple of holes.”

Harrington has slid down to 297th in the world rankings and is playing this week on a sponsor’s exemption.

While Reed, who won the Tournament of Champions in January and defends his World Golf Championships title at Doral next week, is his closest challenger, there is a star-studded field in close pursuit.

McIlroy is not one of them, however. The Ulsterman could only manage a second round 74 as he finished three shots above the cut line of four over par. Graeme McDowell also missed the cut.

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About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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