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Padraig Harrington six off the pace at Pebble Beach

Updated: Saturday, 08 Feb 2014 11:43 | Comments

Padraig Harrington in action in the second round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Padraig Harrington in action in the second round of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

A second round of 69 has left Padraig Harrington best placed of the Irish on three under par and six strokes off leaders Jimmy Walker and Jordan Spieth after the rain-delayed second round of the of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Walker’s 69 at Spyglass Hill, one of three venues being used this week, edged him into a tie with Spieth at the top of the leaderboard.

Paul McGinley had a more challenging second day, a round of 76 at Spyglass Hill leaving him on one under par overall. Graeme McDowell shot 71 on the Monterey Peninsula course to leave him on one under overall.

Walker clearly relishes playing on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula, having recorded top-10 finishes in each of the last three years at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

"Clint [Eastwood] saved my life" - Steve John, after the Hollywood star stopped him choking at the event

"I do like playing golf out here, playing Pebble beach is pretty amazing," Walker told reporters. "I seem to play well out here. I don't know what it is but I do like playing out here."

The 34-year-old collected three birdies in a bogey-free display in mainly overcast, breezy conditions to finish level with Spieth, who returned a six-birdie 67 at Monterey Peninsula.

Spieth, the 2013 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year who clinched his maiden title at the John Deere Classic in July, birdied his final hole, the par-three ninth, to join Walker at the top.

"We are just having a lot of fun," Spieth said of the pro-am atmosphere. "We are playing a little slower rounds and we are not catching the best weather but everything is laughs and it just a good time.

"It feels a little more relaxed and when things are going wrong there are some the people there to pick you up."

Just one stroke shy of the lead sits fellow American Hunter Mahan after a four-under 68 at Spyglass Hill moved the 31-year-old five-time Tour winner to eight-under. Mahan carded six birdies and two bogeys to move into the mix.

Meanwhile, Hollywood actor-director Clint Eastwood delivered an unexpected star turn when he saved the tournament director of this week's event from choking during a dinner on the eve of the golf event.

Eastwood, 83, noticed a "look of panic" on the face of tournament official Steve John as he tried to swallow a piece of cheese during a function for tournament volunteers at the Monterey Conference Center in California on Wednesday night.

Immediately, Eastwood stepped in and performed the Heimlich manoeuvre, the Carmel Pine Cone reported in Friday's edition.

"I looked in his eyes and saw that look of panic people have when they see their life passing before their eyes," Eastwood told the newspaper. "It looked bad. The look on Steve's face was different than when somebody is just coughing or joking around.

"I gave him three good jolts, and that got it out. And then I made him drink a big glass of water with a bunch of lemon squeezed in it."

Eastwood, a prominent figure at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am where he used to compete as an amateur, said it was the first time he had used the Heimlich manoeuvre.

"We were just talking," John said. "A piece of cheese went in my mouth, and suddenly I couldn't breathe. It was as bad as it could have been.

"Clint came up behind me, and he knew exactly what to do. He lifted me right off the ground. He's strong! The cheese popped out, and I was fine. Clint saved my life."

Eastwood performs an official role at the tournament as chairman of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation and presents the trophy to the winner on Sunday. 

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