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Padraig Harrington admitted he just wasn't as focused on Friday. (David Cannon/Getty Images)
Padraig Harrington admitted he just wasn't as focused on Friday. (David Cannon/Getty Images)

Harrington rues fumbled chance to climb leaderboard

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Padraig Harrington birdied his opening hole at Southern Hills Friday, but made only one more birdie the rest of the day en route to a 73. That ticked him off, he said, because he felt the conditions were there to score well, as Tiger Woods proved.

TULSA, Okla. (PA) -- Padraig Harrington believes he missed an opportunity to make a statement at in the second round of the PGA Championship on Friday.

The Open champion birdied his first hole, but had only one more the rest of the day. And to hear him tell it, he fumbled a golden opportunity to climb the leaderboard.

A pair of bogeys following his opening birdie stalled any momentum Harrington had built. He closed his front nine with bogeys at 17 and 18 and had his only other birdie of the day at the par-3 sixth.

A bogey at the ninth gave him a 3-over 73 and a 36-hole total of 142, eight shots behind leader Tiger Woods.

"Shooting a good score is out there. You definitely can score," Harrington said. "I think it's probably an easier golf course if you feel like you're trying to go forward than a course you're trying to defend on.

"I don't think it played any tougher," he added. "If anything, it played a little easier. Less wind out there. It was fine all day."

Graeme Storm did not find the course very easy as he relinquished his hold on the lead with a 76. But a few players have posted low scores.

Scott Verplank temporarily grabbed the lead at 4 under with a 66 early Friday, and Paul McGinley got himself back in the championship with a 66 of his own to move to level par.

"I said it yesterday, any player playing well out there could definitely shoot a good score," Harrington said. "If a guy starts off hitting fairways and greens and holding it, he'll be confident to do it all day."

Why it wasn't Harrington came down to basics.

"My focus was poor today and it wasn't a good day on the greens," Harrington said. "I kept seeing the negative shots and got on a roll of just trying to hit fairways and missing them. There's nothing I need to work on technically, but I definitely just need to be a little bit stronger-willed tomorrow."

Harrington will also have to get better on the greens. He three-putted only once, when he bogeyed the 12th, but he took 31 putts in the second round, four more than he did on Thursday.

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"I did create some birdie chances out there, but I couldn't hole them," Harrington said. "I had a lot of birdies from 12 to 13 feet I couldn't drop. I'll have to get out there and practice."

The putting woes and lack of scoring seemed to affect the Irishman, who only Thursday sounded like a man certain he was on the right track for another major title.

"I'm not as positive as I was last night," he said, "but it's still a possibility."

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