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Padraig Harrington overcame a broken driver and what he called a rough patch mid-round on Friday to post a 6-under-par 65 and take the 36-hole lead by one stroke over 2019 U.S Senior Open champion Steve Stricker.
Harrington is making his first U.S. Senior Open debut, weathered a rainy Round 1 on Thursday morning, then reeled off six birdies in a bogey-free round on Friday afternoon, with three of the birdies coming in a five-hole stretch late in the round.
Harrington noted “a bit of drama” when he broke his driver in the middle of his pre-round warmup. “I had to replace the driver I played with yesterday, and this one flew a little higher, a bit more spin, so it was a little different,” said Harrington. Though it didn’t affect him.
Stricker leads the chasing pack having followed up an opening round of 3-under 68 with a 2-under 69 on Friday. Rob Labritz, a former club professional who earned his PGA Tour Champions card in December, is alone in third place after shooting his second consecutive 2-under 69.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, a two-time runner-up in the U.S. Senior Open, shot the low round of the championship thus far on Friday, a 7-under 64, bettering his Thursday effort by 15 strokes to move into a tie for 22nd place.
Markus Brier and Richard Green both shot second consecutive 71s to remain level par and in the hunt to claim their first Senior Major Championship.
Leaderboard after Round 2:
Padraig Harrington -6
Steve Stricker -5
Rob Labritz -4
Thongchai Jaidee -3
Jay Haas -3
Steven Alker -3
Gene Sauers -3
Mark Hensby -2
Alex Cejka -2
Doug Barron -2
Tracy Phillips -1
View full leaderboard here.