August 14, 2009 / 2:55 PM / 8 years ago

Woods stays in control at Hazeltine

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).

Fiji's Vijay Singh hits out of a bunker on the 13th hole during the second round of the 2009 PGA Championship golf tournament at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota August 14, 2009. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

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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