Morrison heads Wentworth leaderboard
Updated: May 25, 2012, 09:59
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England’s James Morrison rounded off a brilliant 64 with an eagle to charge into a four-stroke lead early on the second day of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth today.
The 27-year-old, who switched from cricket after playing for England Youths with Alastair Cook and Tim Bresnan, reached halfway at an impressive 12 under - amazingly twice the winning score of world number one Luke Donald a year ago.
Morrison, ranked only 236th, birdied the fourth and sixth, had three more in a row from the ninth and then picked up a further stroke at the 13th before rolling in a 25-foot putt on the 539-yard last.
His closest challengers at that point were Scot David Drysdale (70), big-hitting Alvaro Quiros – the player who beat him in a play-off for the 2010 Spanish Open – and also Donald after he birdied the 16th and 17th.
“I watched this even before I played golf and it’s fantastic – even more so because I’m local,” said Morrison, whose wife is expecting their first child in two weeks.
“I played dreadful here the last two years because I took it so seriously, but I played lovely today. My putter is back, that’s the main thing.”
Donald is trying to join Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie as the only players to make a successful defence of the title, and if Rory McIlroy missed the cut - he was down on two over after an opening 74 – it would need only a top-eight finish to take him back to the top of the rankings.
Open champion Darren Clarke, meanwhile, looked like continuing his miserable run of not making a cut all year when he double-bogeyed the 10th and bogeyed three of the next six to drop to three over. The axe was likely to fall on one or two under.
Quiros was playing with Donald and so was Justin Rose, who was also going well at six under a day after he feared he might have to withdraw because of dizziness.
McIlroy was among the later starters as was third-ranked Lee Westwood, two under overnight as he attempts to make amends for losing a play-off to Donald last May.
Dubliner Peter Lawrie, joint overnight leader with Drysdale, added a 71 to stand seven under.