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Louisville (AFP) — World number one Rory McIlroy, American Steve Stricker, and fourth-ranked Henrik Stenson made early moves on leader Ryan Palmer in Friday’s rain-hit second round of the PGA Championship.

Sweden’s Stenson, seeking his first major title, reached six-under with a 30-foot birdie putt at the 13th.

British Open champion McIlroy, notorious for second-round struggles much of the year, joined him at six-under by bouncing back from a bogey at 12 with a 12-foot birdie putt at 13 and a 16-foot birdie putt at 15.

Back-nine starter Stricker was at six-under as well after making birdie putts on four of his first eight holes, the longest of them a 30-footer at the 17th.

But it was Palmer who birdied the ninth from four feet to grab a one-stroke lead at seven-under.

Heavy showers caused a 45-minute delay shortly after Palmer teed off in the opening group off the first tee, drenching the 7,458-yard course in the first wave of downpours expected to continue throughout the day.

Palmer opened with six pars before getting up and down from greenside rough at the par-5 seventh, the American sinking a four-foot putt to claim the lead alone at seven-under as he had Thursday on the exact same hole.

But just as he did on day one, Palmer dropped back level for the lead with a bogey at the par-3 eighth, finding a bunker off the tee.

This time, however, he answered immediately with a birdie and looked to stretch his margin on the back nine.

Britain’s Lee Westwood, seeking his first major title after eight top-three major finishes without one, and American Kevin Chappell, seeking his first tour-level title, were both set for afternoon starts after joining Palmer in the overnight lead after all three fired 65s Thursday.

Sweden’s fourth-ranked Stenson opened on the back nine with a birdie at the par-5 10th, stumbled with a bogey at 12 then responded with his long birdie effort to threaten.

Masters champion Bubba Watson was two-under after five holes and three-under for the tournament.

Tiger Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, was also set to tee off in the afternoon.

But after opening on 74 to share 109th, three strokes beyond the projected cut line, he was simply fighting to reach the final rounds.

Ben Crane, who opened on 74, withdrew due to back issues, the fourth American to pull out of the event. Sixth-ranked Matt Kuchar and past winner David Toms withdrew with back trouble before the start and defending champion Jason Dufner pulled out after 10 holes Thursday because of a neck injury.

AFP Photo/Andrew Redington

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Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)