WENTWORTH, England – Luke Donald of England shot a second straight 3-under 68 Friday to take a one-shot lead after the second round of the BMW PGA Championship.
Donald took advantage of an early start time, making four birdies and a lone bogey while playing in perfect conditions for a 6-under total of 136.
Top Sports storiesMascot collides with cop English duo Ross Fisher and overnight leader Danny Willett were a shot back in second, along with James Kingston of South Africa.
Willett was among the late starters and birdied three of his first four holes before the wind started picking up at Wentworth’s West Course, leaving the leaders struggling to make par. Willett had five bogeys and just one more birdie the rest of the way for a 72.
“With that wind swirling in the tree you’ve got to stand up and trust that you and your caddie have got the wind right when you hit the shot,” the 22-year-old Willett said. “But when it swirls like that it messes with you, and I started to hit long into some of the greens and then could not get up and down from the positions I found myself in.”
Fisher birdied two of his last three holes for a 70, while Kingston shot a 69.
Padraig Harrington of Ireland was among a quartet of players a further shot back after carding a 67 in a bogey-free round.
Harrington is chasing his first title since 2008, and said he liked the redesigned West Course, which has been heavily criticized by some of his colleagues.
“There is plenty of intimidation out there,” Harrington said. “But I like that. I play better when I am worried about missing a shot. When I get over the ball I tighten up my focus. It’s so much better for me when I am on edge.”
Defending champion Paul Casey was tied with Harrington at 4 under as he tries to become only the third player after Colin Montgomerie and Nick Faldo to retain his title since the tournament was launched in 1955.