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Harrington leads by one at halfway point on Asian Tour

JOHOR BAHRU, Malaysia – Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington was on course for his first victory in two years after surging into the halfway lead at the Asian PGA Tour’s Iskandar Johor Open on Friday.

Harrington carded a 5-under-par 67 in the second round for a 13-under 131 total, one stroke better then Taiwan’s Lin Wen-tang at the Horizon Hills Golf and Country Club in Malaysia’s southern Johor state.

Lin, a five-time winner in Asia, narrowly missed an eagle at the last hole to tie Harrington, but still managed a Friday low of 65 amid strong winds.

Lee Sung of South Korea shot a bogey-free 68 to finish three shots back in third place, while Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Noh Seung-yul of South Korea was one more back in a tie with Singapore’s Mardan Mamat and Australia’s Scott Hend at 135.

Beginning on the back nine, Harrington went out in 35 with two birdies and a dropped shot, but drained a 35-foot birdie putt on his 12th hole of the day. He sank a 25-footer for eagle at the par-five sixth.

“There are a lot of birdies to be made and I’ve made a few eagles,” Harrington said. “I’ve got to keep moving forward, play well and take a lead into Sunday.”

Harrington hasn’t won on any tour since collecting his third major title at the 2008 PGA Championship.

Lin excelled despite the afternoon winds with nine birdies and two bogeys. He hit all but one fairway and peppered the flags with crisp iron play.