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Harrington leads the Irish Open

  |   May 18, 2007 at 7:20 PM
LIMERICK, Ireland, May 18 (UPI) -- Local favorite Padraig Harrington took a one-shot lead Friday after two rounds of the European Tour's Irish Open Golf Tournament in Limerick, Ireland.

Harrington was able to overcome the day's demanding windy weather conditions to shoot 4-under-par 68 for a 36-hole total of 3-under 141.

Three players -- Andres Romero (74), Joakim Backstrom (71) and Simon Wakefield (72) -- were tied for second place at 2-under 142.

"The wind doesn't bother me," said Harrington, who is attempting to be the first Irishman to win his nation's Open since John O'Leary in 1982. "I know I have an advantage in the sort of weather that causes them to push some of the tees up. I prefer to have a more challenging tee-shot."

Romero was part of a four-way tie for the lead after the first round Thursday.

The others, Peter Hanson (78), Simon Dyson (78) and Peter Gustafsson (75), all struggled.

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