Harrington avoids embarrassing exit in Ryder Cup warm-up

Atlanta:European Ryder Cup player Padraig Harrington avoided embarrassment by just managing to make the halfway cut at the Vivendi Cup on Friday.

The Irishman recovered from a triple bogey at the 12th with three birdies over the last six holes for a two-over par 74 on the Retz course, leaving him two-under at Golf de Joyevnal.

The world No. 22 is 11 shots behind England`s John Parry (67) and former Ryder Cup team member Jarmo Sandelin of Sweden (66) who share the lead at 13-under par.

Parry finished with a pair of birdies while Sandelin, a member of the losing 1999 European Ryder Cup team, was helped by a purple patch on the front nine that included a birdie at five, an eagle at six and another a birdie at the seventh.

Four players -- South Africa`s George Coetzee (66), Australia`s Richard Green (66), England`s James Morrison (68) and French rookie Julien Guerrier (69) -- are in second place three behind the leaders at 10-under par.

Harrington is the only European Ryder Cup player competing in France after Sweden`s Peter Hanson withdrew through illness before the start of play on Thursday.

The Irishman added the French tournament to his schedule in a last minute decision after being knocked-out of the Tour Championship being held in Atlanta.

The triple major winner also turned his back on competing in this week`s Irish PGA Championship, an event he won three times in succession from 2007.

Harrington mixed five birdies with two bogeys, a fifth hole double-bogey and the triple bogey at the par four 12th on Friday when he first drove out-of-bounds and then found water in front of the green with his third shot.

But birdies at 13, 16 and 17 saved Harrington from missing the cut for a third event in succession on the European Tour.

"It wasn`t great as I had a couple of early three-putts again," he said. "I found the greens slow today and got in between clubs on the 12th and you can`t afford that."

Bureau Report

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