Padraig Harrington will partner Tiger Woods in the third round of the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament in Japan and get a major boost.

The Dubliner, 35, fired a four under par 66 in $1.7 million event at Phoenix Country Club to get to seven under par and trail the world No 1 by just one stroke at halfway.

Woods will not intimidate the Dubliner, who has gone head to head with him several times in recent seasons.

In fact, Harrington reckons that the more he plays with Woods the easier it will be to outfox him when it matters - in the majors.

After a steady round that included five birdies and just one dropped shot, Harrington said: "It doesn't necessarily get my juices flowing, but I'm happy for the opportunity, because you've got to play with Tiger if you're going to win the majors basically.

"And the more you play with him, the more familiar you get, the easier it is to play with him, so I always see it as an opportunity."

Harrington birdied three of the last six holes to keep pace with Woods, with his only bogey coming at the par-3 11th, where his tee shot came up short in a pond and forced him to hit a deft pitch to avoid dropping more than one stroke.

He added: "I'm very pleased. It was a nice, steady round and it was nice to finish three-under the last six.

"I putted well again. The only difference is I drove it much better today."

As for playing with Woods today, Harrington sees it as a chance to get used to the intimidation factor.

He explained: "If there is any (intimidation), the more you play with him, the less it is going to happen.

"I've played with him a good bit. It's always good to be playing with Tiger on the weekend. You know you're playing good golf."

Woods birdied the first but bogeyed the third before chipping in from 25 feet an eagle at the next on his way to a five under par 65 and a one stroke lead over the new European No 1.

Seeking a hat-trick of Dunlop Phoenix wins, Woods said: "I'm very happy to shoot that and to have that be the lead is awfully nice.

"Conditions were a little easier than yesterday and you could see some of the guys really went low today.

"You had to shoot something in the mid 60s in order to have a chance of getting in that final group."

Flamboyant Londoner Ian Poulter shot a sizzling 64 to jump within two strokes of the lead on six under with Japan's Shingo Katayama a stroke further back after a 70.

Justin Rose carded a best of the day 63 to move within four of the lead on four under thanks to a round that featured eight birdies and just one dropped shot.

Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano crashed to a two over par 72 to drop from second place to sixth, six strokes behind Woods.