February 28, 2015 / 5:33 PM / in 3 years

Harrington holds lead at Honda as play abandoned

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida (Reuters) - Ireland’s Padraig Harrington held the lead after the second round of the Honda Classic on Saturday with play abandoned in the afternoon because of severe rain.

Feb 28, 2015; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; Padraig Harrington tees off on the 8th hole during the second round of the Honda Classic at PGA National GC Champion Course. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The rain wiped out the entire afternoon session, meaning the third round for most players will not begin until Sunday morning with a possible Monday finish looming.

The 43-year-old Harrington shot a four-under par 66 for his second round at PGA National to go seven-under for the tournament. He has a stroke lead over American Patrick Reed, who posted two rounds of 67.

But Harrington will be sorely disappointed to have ended his round with bogeys on the eighth and ninth holes.

The three-time major championship winner has slumped to 297th in the world rankings and has not won on either the PGA Tour or the European Tour since 2008.

He has shown some signs of recapturing his form of late and won the Indonesia Open, on the Asian Tour, in December.

“Obviously I want to be at the top of the leaderboard and I want to be trying to win tournaments. Five tournaments ago, I won, so it’s not like it’s an alien feeling for me,” said Harrington.

“I think I‘m in a good place that I can deliver more performances like this. So I‘m not panicked about going out and it all having to happen this weekend.”

Britain’s Ian Poulter’s impressive 64 moved him to within two strokes of Harrington and level with American Brendan Steele.

Another British player, former Honda winner Luke Donald, shot a 67 to move three strokes off the lead.

World number one Rory McIlroy, who completed his second round on Friday and ended up seven-over for the tournament, missed the cut.

Joining the Northern Irishman with a weekend off were Britain’s Justin Rose, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, South Africans Ernie Els, Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen and Canadian Graham DeLaet.

Americans Keegan Bradley, Zach Johnson and Harris English also packed their bags early.

Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami, editing by Gene Cherry

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