Goosen one behind Padraig

2010-03-20 07:02

Florida - Ireland's Padraig Harrington, who has not won a sanctioned event since the 2008 PGA Championship, fired a six-under 65 Friday to seize a one-shot lead at the Transitions Championship.

Harrington moved to eight-under 134 after two rounds of the 5.4 million dollar PGA event at the Innisbrook golf club.

He used a pair of late birdies to fire his lowest score of the year to go with the 69 he shot Thursday.

"I'm capable of winning in the form I'm in," said Harrington. "Am I in my best form? No. Am I getting there? Yes. I'm kind of in the form that I was in at the end of last year. I'm right in the midst of it."

South Africa's Retief Goosen and Sweden's Carl Pettersson are part of a group of four golfers tied for second at seven-under 135.

Defending champion Goosen and Pettersson, also a former winner, both shot 68. American Jim Furyk had a chance to tied Harrington but missed a six-foot par putt on 18 to finish with a 68. Bubba Watson (65) is also one shot adrift of Harrington.

"I'll take the attitude I've been taking for the first two days, which is fire away and not worry about it until I get up there," he said. "It has not cost me too badly so far, so I'll kind of stick with that for two more days."

On Wednesday, Harrington celebrated St. Patrick's Day with Ireland's Prime Minister Brian Cowen at the US White House. He and Cowen attended a gala event hosted by American President Barack Obama.

"If I thought going to the White House was going to detrimentally affect my performance, one or the other would have to be given up, either the tournament or the White House," he said.

"I felt that it certainly may put a little bit more risk into the performance, but I didn't think it would detrimentally affect it, and it hasn't, obviously."

American Steve Stricker played the last eight holes in even par and finished with a 66. He is two shots behind Harrington.

Stricker, who is the highest-ranked player in the field at world number two, had a chance to pull even with Harrington down the stretch but made bogey on 16.

He hit driver on the hole but overshot the green and landed his ball next to a tree.

Leaderboard after the second round:

134 - Padraig Harrington (IRE) 69-65
135 - Carl Pettersson (SWE) 67-68, Jim Furyk 67-68, Bubba Watson 70-65, Retief Goosen (RSA) 67-68
136 - Steve Stricker 70-66, Jeff Maggert 67-69, Steve Elkington (AUS) 68-68
137 - David Toms 74-63, Jonathan Byrd 67-70
138 - K.J. Choi (KOR) 69-69, Ross Fisher (GBR) 68-70, Alex Cejka (GER) 69-69, Jeff Quinney 68-70, Nicholas Thompson 70-68, Brandt Snedeker 69-69, Rickie Fowler 67-71
139 - Luke Donald (GBR) 71-68, Mathew Goggin (AUS) 70-69, Adam Scott (AUS) 73-66
140 - Stephen Ames (CAN) 69-71, Martin Laird (GBR) 70-70, Nick O'Hern (AUS) 72-68
141 - Daniel Chopra (SWE) 72-69, Justin Rose (GBR) 73-68, John Senden (AUS) 69-72, Tim Wilkinson (NZL) 73-68
142 - Charlie Wi (KOR) 70-72
143 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 72-71, Greg Chalmers (AUS) 72-71, Yuta Ikeda (JPN) 74-69, Greg Owen (GBR) 73-70, Andres Romero (ARG) 74-69
144 - Brian Davis (GBR) 71-73, Jason Day (AUS) 72-72, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 73-71, Nathan Green (AUS) 73-71, Trevor Immelman (RSA) 70-74, James Nitties (AUS) 71-73, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 73-71, Rod Pampling (AUS) 73-71, Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 72-72