Willett goes 29-39 in second round of BMW PGA

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Danny Willett was looking to run away with the BMW PGA Championship, but a back-nine stumble kept his pursuers within reach.

Willett started Friday at Wentworth Club trailing by one shot, but turned in a tournament-record 6-under 29 to reach 12 under for the tournament. Willett birdied Nos. 3-6 and 8-9.

The back nine wasn’t as kind.

The reigning Masters champion dropped a shot at the par-4 10th and bogeyed Nos. 15-17. He bookended that latter stretch with birdies on Nos. 14 and 18, but it totaled for an inward 39 and a second-round 68.

"Different," Willett said when asked to describe his round. "Played great most of the day and dropped a couple of horrible golf shots in there.

"To make birdie [on 18] was good, showed a little bit of mental maturity."

Willett’s group, which included Victor Dubuisson and Soomin Lee, was put on the clock on the back nine. Willett said that caused him to rush a few shots.

Willett, an Englishman, is looking to prevail in front of home-country fans this week, just as Rory McIlroy did last week at the Irish Open.