Palm Beach Gardens, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Padraig Harrington finished up his second round and took a 1-shot lead on Saturday before third-round play was suspended due to inclement weather.
The second round was concluded earlier Saturday morning and only a few groups were able to tee off for the third round before rain and heavy winds halted play at 12:51 p.m. After a lengthy delay, play was called for the day. Players are scheduled to get back out on the course at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Harrington, who will have to wait until Sunday to start his third round along with most of the 71 players who made the cut, fired a second-round 4-under 66 to take the outright lead at 7-under 133 through 36 holes on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa.
"I feel like I'll have to play better or at least up to the way I played maybe my first 27 holes," Harrington said about what he has to do in the final two rounds. "You keep your head on, you get it up and down when you need to. It will be a tough weekend no matter what."
The three-time major champion has five career wins on the PGA Tour, but he has not won since the 2008 PGA Championship. Harrington also won the British Open the same year.
Patrick Reed, who finished his second round on Friday, is alone in second at 6-under 134 following two straight 67s. Ian Poulter (64) and Brendan Steele (69) are tied for third at 5-under 135 through two rounds, while Luke Donald (67) sits one shot further back in fifth at minus-4.
First-round leader Jim Herman carded a 2-over 72, dropping him into a tie for sixth with Russell Knox (68). Defending champion Russell Henley (70), who had just teed off to start his third round before play was called, is tied for 38th at 3-over 143 after narrowly making the cut.
Harrington, starting his second round on the back nine, began with a pair of pars on 10 and 11 before rolling in his first birdie of the day on the par-4 12th.
Following three more pars from 13, Harrington surged as he made the turn, making three birdies in a four-hole stretch on 16, 17 and one.
Harrington tripped to his first bogey on No. 3, but he rebounded in a big way by draining three straight birdies from No. 4, vaulting him to a 3-shot lead.
That advantage quickly shrunk to just one, however, as Harrington finished bogey-bogey on eight and nine. Despite the poor finish to his round, Harrington still held the outright lead through 36 holes.
"Certainly for the first 27 holes I was really feeling very positive about my game," said Harrington after his second round. "I struggled coming home. That was disappointing ... Disappointed as I said about my finish, but I'm in a good place going through to the weekend."
Steele held a 2-shot lead through four holes of his second round before play was suspended due to darkness on Friday. The 31-year-old was on fire when he finally started his round on Friday, draining four straight birdies from No. 1 to grab the lead.
When he got back underway Saturday morning, Steele began to struggle right away as he made a bogey on five. He rebounded with a birdie on six, but he then tripped to a pair of bogeys on seven and eight.
Steele made the turn with a birdie on nine, but that was his last gain of the day. Steele made eight pars on the back nine to go along with a double-bogey on 16 and he finished the day tied for third.
Poulter got off to a roaring start in his second round, making birdies on three and five. He also holed out from 116 yards for eagle on the par-4 fourth.
Poulter got to 5-under for his round with another gain on eight. Following five straight pars from nine, Poulter traded a birdie on 14 for a bogey on 15. He finished up with pars on 16 and 18 to go along with a gain on 17.
NOTES: A total of 24 players had completed at least one hole of their third rounds ... In eight events this season, Harrington has five missed cuts and he missed one secondary cut. Harrington's best finish was a tie for 56th at last week's Northern Trust Open ... World No. 1 Rory McIlroy missed the cut after finishing 36 holes at 7-over 147 ... The cut fell at 4-over 144. Other big names who missed the cut were Justin Rose, Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Billy Horschel and Dustin Johnson.