Luke Donald in the mix as he blitzes Wentworth

Phil Casey 11:54 24/05/2014
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Master of the West Course: Luke Donald, two-time champion at Wentworth, shot a superb 67 on a very tough day.

Luke Donald planned to treat himself to a curry after moving into contention for a third BMW PGA Championship title in four years.

Donald carded a superb 67 at Wentworth on Friday to finish sixunder par, four shots behind joint leaders Thomas Bjorn and Shane Lowry and one ahead of the likes of Henrik Stenson and Rory McIlroy.

The former world No1 carded six birdies and an eagle for the best round of the day, which included a run of five threes in succession from the eighth culminating in an eagle on the 12th.

“When we were warming up the rain was coming down pretty heavy and the wind was blowing hard,” said the 2011 and 2012 champion Donald, who would join the likes of Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Nick Faldo as three-time champions of the European Tour’s flagship event.

“It was wet for six or seven holes but for the rest of the day it was pretty nice. I’m happy with the way I played and I holed some long putts which is always a bonus.

“Being nine behind after the first day seems like a big mountain to climb but now I’m back in position to try to win this title again.”

Donald finished his round in style with a birdie from 25 feet on the 18th and added: “Dinner will taste good, I might enjoy a good curry. It’s hard to fine one in the States.”

Bjorn had set a new course record with his opening 62 and was pleased to recover from two-over par after seven holes to return a 72.

“Those were tough conditions for everybody out there today,” the 43-year-old Dane said. “Especially on the front nine it was extremely difficult to get into a rhythm.

“We played those first four holes in…I don’t know how long, and wehad a couple of rulings in front of us. It was just impossible to find a good rhythm and Retief (Goosen) left us with a back injury after five holes, so we got caught in a two-ball.

“It just seems like all day we were waiting and waiting for a long time on a lot of these shots. It was a tough ask today so I was pretty pleased with the way I finished the round.”

Bjorn birdied two of the last four holes to finish where he started the day, on 10-under, with Lowry recovering from a double-bogey six on the ninth with birdies on the 10th, 12th, 17th and 18th.

Lowry, a massive fan of Wentworth after finishing fourth here in 2011 and 12th last year, said: “I was good out there today. I was mentally there and really enjoyed it.

“It was tough for the front nine with the rain and stuff but it was a nice back nine and I managed to take advantage of it.”

There was a hint of controversy about the difficult day two pin positions. Lee Westwood led the assault, claiming that the hole location denied the early starters the kind of advantage that had been conferred on Thursday’s early birds.

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