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Page last updated at 19:00 GMT, Friday, 21 May 2010 20:00 UK

Luke Donald leads PGA Championship at new Wentworth

PGA Championship, Wentworth: second round leaderboard:
-6 L Donald (Eng) -5 R Fisher (Eng), D Willett (Eng), J Kingston (SA) -4 P Casey (Eng), F Andersson Hed (Swe), C Wood (Eng), P Harrington (Ire)
Selected others: -3 E Els (SA) level C Montgomerie (Sco) +1 J Rose, R McIlroy +2 L Westwood (Eng) Missed cut: +5 I Poulter (Eng)

The 18th hole at the West Course, Wentworth
The dramatic new 18th was again the talk of Wentworth

Luke Donald carded a second successive round of 68 to build a one-shot lead at six under at the halfway stage of the PGA Championship at the new Wentworth.

The 32-year-old Ryder Cup player dropped only one shot in the opening two rounds and leads from Ross Fisher and first-round leader Danny Willett.

Paul Casey and Padraig Harrington are well placed at four under, with course designer Ernie Els one further back.

Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy just made the cut but Ian Poulter crashed out.

Donald plotted his way expertly around the new West Course lay-out, which was again the subject of great conjecture, particularly the 18th hole with its hazardous brook guarding the green.

On the rare occasions he did miss the greens he calmly salvaged par, with a three putt on the 12th, missing from five feet, his only blemish.

Donald, who has only one bogey after two rounds, said of the new-look course: "I think the reason why it suits me is because you kind of have to plot your way around a little bit more now."

World number three Westwood had four bogeys in his first eight holes but three birdies in six holes brought him back to level par.

However, a triple bogey followed at the 15th when he thinned an escape from a bunker and shot through the green.

Luke Donald
Donald played in composed fashion even when in trouble

When he missed a short birdie putt at the last and stayed on two over it seemed as though he would miss the cut but as the afternoon players found things difficult both he and McIlroy squeezed through.

"I wasn't swinging very well at the start of the week and I haven't hit the ball very well these two days," said Westwood, who nevertheless made it through to the final two rounds for only the third time in 10 appearances at the European Tour's flagship event.

McIlroy fought back superbly from his opening 74 with three successive birdies, then added another at the 13th to get under par but two expensive holes left him also in danger of the halfway axe.

At the 15th he just avoided the stream but then tried to be too greedy with his second shot and shanked into the trees, eventually taking a double bogey six.

He dropped another shot on 16 and a birdie chance at the last slipped fractionally by but his round of 69 was good enough to keep him in the tournament and he spoke confidently after his round of posting a challenge from one-over.

Casey, the world number eight, played some sparkling golf, with six birdies in the final 11 holes.

He sent his approach at the 13th to within four feet for a birdie, and cut in a delightful tee shot at the par-three 14th that stopped stone dead six inches from the cup.

A dropped a shot followed at the 15th when he found an awful spot in thick rough on a downslope and his third shot trickled back into a bunker but he finished well with a birdie.

Fisher put himself in excellent position at five under after an exquisite third shot to two feet at the last, but admitted he was another not in favour of the changes made to the par-five.

"I preferred the original hole," he said. "I don't think people want to see us lay-up at the 18th."

Willett, who held a one shot advantage after the first round, birdied the first two holes and missed a six-foot putt at the ninth that would have given him a three-shot lead.

With the wind increasing and course becoming firmer, he struggled on the back nine, racking up three bogeys, but escaped with a par at the last despite driving into the first of the two streams now in place.

Poulter, six in the current world rankings, was another British player hoping to gain ground on world number one Tiger Woods but was always struggling after an opening 78.

Poulter birdied the last three holes but still missed out at five over.

Portugal's Jose-Filipe Lima had the ignominy of the highest score of the day. He put three balls in the water on the 391-yard eighth, another of the altered holes, and walked off with an 11.



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see also
I was wrong, says Wentworth owner
21 May 10 |  Golf
Westwood criticises new Wentworth
20 May 10 |  Golf
English trio eye Woods's ranking
19 May 10 |  Golf
Westwood up to third in rankings
17 May 10 |  Golf
Poulter to make Wentworth return
26 Apr 10 |  Golf
McIlroy happy with US Tour move
19 May 10 |  Golf
Harrington will miss Wales Open
18 May 10 |  Golf
Rose relaxed over Ryder Cup place
18 May 10 |  Golf
Goosen withdraws from Wentworth
18 May 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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