Woods stays in control at Hazeltine

CHASKA, Minnesota Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:18pm EDT

1 of 2. Tiger Woods of the U.S. hits from the second tee during the second round of the 2009 PGA Championship golf tournament at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, August 14, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Matt Sullivan

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CHASKA, Minnesota (Reuters) - Tiger Woods stood tall in blustery conditions to lead Irishman Padraig Harrington by one shot late in Friday's U.S. PGA Championship second round on the monster, 7,674-yard Hazeltine National layout.

Defending champion Harrington, playing in the same group as Woods, saw his putt circle the cup before it dropped in for a birdie at the ninth that set up an intriguing back-nine duel between the two rivals.

Woods shrugged off a bogey at the first by birdying the sixth and seventh to end the outward half on six-under-par on a difficult day for scoring, with winds of up to 25-mph (40-kph) whipping the flags and firming up the bumpy greens on the longest course to stage a major.

Tied for third place on three-under were Briton Graeme McDowell (through eight holes) and big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros (six).

In the clubhouse on three-under 141 were twice winner Vijay Singh of Fiji (72), U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover (70) and Australian Brendan Jones (70).

Britain's Ian Poulter carded a 70 to finish on 142 and predicted hard times for the late starters.

"It's going to be brutal this afternoon," said the seven-times European Tour winner. "The greens will dry out ... and they get a little bit bumpy.

"They don't run quite as true as they do first thing in the morning."

Triple major winner Ernie Els showed low scores were possible as he shot a 68 for 143 but said conditions were growing increasingly difficult.

"It's getting really tricky," the big South African said. "Some of the greens are soft and some are firm. It's a bit inconsistent."

Woods is pursuing a fifth PGA crown that would allow him to match the record held jointly by fellow Americans Jack Nicklaus and Walter Hagen.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

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