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Harrington closes gap in Portugal

-15 F Molinari (Ita) -14 C Schwartzel (SA) -13 P Harrington (Ire) -12 R Goosen (SA), P Martin (Spa) -11 A Forsyth (Sco), A Quiros (Spa), L Westwood (Eng) Selected others: -9 J Rose (Eng) -8 B Curtis (US) -7 Darren Clarke (NI) -5 R McIlory (NI), C Montgomerie (Sco)

Padraig Harrington
Harrington fired 10 birdies and no bogeys

Ireland's Padraig Harrington fired 10 birdies in a round of 62 to lie two shots off the lead at the halfway stage of the Portugal Masters.

Overnight leader Francesco Molinari (66) of Italy remains in front on 15 under par, one shot ahead of South African Charl Schwartzel (65).

Lee Westwood is 11 under after a 67, two strokes ahead of fellow Englishman Justin Rose who carded a 70.

Darren Clarke is seven under, while Rory McIlroy lies eight off the pace.

Harrington had a putt on the 18th green to lower his best round on the circuit but left the 18-footer short of the cup.

"Pity I didn't give it a better run," he said. "I played the tough holes really well and that gave me the opportunity to shoot a really good score.

"It could even have been the magic number," he added, referring to the elusive 59 that is yet to be recorded on the European Tour.

McIlroy and Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie survived the cut by only one shot as the axe came at four-under, equalling the European Tour low this season.

Among those to miss out were last year's Order of Merit winner Robert Karlsson and Ross Fisher, who could have led this year's Race to Dubai standings with victory this week.

Westwood now has an excellent opportunity to overtake McIlroy at the top of the standings, having moved up to sixth, six shots ahead of the young Northern Irishman.

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see also
Molinari takes lead in Portugal
15 Oct 09 |  Golf

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