PreviousNext

Luke Donald bidding to defend BMW PGA Championship title and regain world No 1 spot

By // Sports | Luke Donald bidding to defend BMW PGA Championship title and regain world No 1 spot
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

By Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 14:44 EST, 26 May 2012 | UPDATED: 14:47 EST, 26 May 2012

Luke Donald is on course to retain his BMW PGA Championship title - and to return to world number one - after a nightmare day for overnight leader James Morrison in front of family and friends at Wentworth.

Four clear after a sparkling second round 64, the world number 236 crashed to an 81 and will go into the closing 18 holes an amazing eight strokes behind.

While local man Morrison had a quadruple bogey eight, a triple bogey eight and three bogeys on his card, Donald showed his class with a 69 - the joint best round of the day in the windy conditions.

Leading the way: Donald

Leading the way: Donald

Needing only a top eight finish to take the number one spot back off Rory McIlroy, who opened the door by missing a second successive cut, the 34-year-old is now 11 under par and two ahead of Justin Rose.

Donald is trying to follow Sir Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie as the only players to make a successful defence of the European Tour's flagship event.

Faldo did it in 1980 and 1981, while Montgomerie had three wins in a row from 1998 to 2000.

Former England Youth cricketer Morrison, whose only win on the circuit was in the relatively minor Madeira Islands Open in his rookie season two years ago, knew it was going to be a test for him.

'I desperately, desperately, desperately want to keep going forward,' he had said. 'I expect a lot, but if I shoot 80 or 65 I'll take what I can from it.'

He could never have expected things to unravel as they did, however.

Falling apart: Morrison had a terrible day

Falling apart: Morrison had a terrible day

After a bogey on the first, where he bunkered his approach, he went out of bounds with his second on the long fourth and ran up his first eight.

That alone was enough to take him out of the lead, but the collapse continued.

He bogeyed the next and on the 391-yard eighth went from trees to water for a quadruple bogey that was matched by playing partner David Drysdale, himself twice in the lake.

The Scot had been joint leader at that point, but that was the start of a horrible slide for him too. He finished with a 78.

Donald plotted his way around like the expert he now is, gathering birdies at the first two par fives and then going two clear at the 13th.

Peter Lawrie was the man out in front with them by then, but as the Dubliner hit into the trees and bogeyed Donald fired in an iron to six feet and picked up another shot.

He did bogey the 15th after driving into a ditch, but salvaged a par on the long 17th after going in the trees and hitting an on-course television reporter with his next shot.

Losing his way: Lawrie

Losing his way: Lawrie

Then, to nobody's surprise, he laid up short of the water on the last, pitched to 18 feet and made it.

Rose, who played with Donald the first two days and admired his ability to bounce straight back from trouble, and Ian Poulter were the only others to break 70.

Lawrie is in third spot on seven under after a 72, while joint fourth are former Open champion Paul Lawrie and South African trio Branden Grace, Richard Sterne and Ernie Els - the latter livid with the lack of watering on the course he re-designed.

Donald said: 'The tougher the better. The good players that can be patient and deal with it are always going to rise to the top usually.'

The US Open is generally regarded as the hardest of all the majors and with it coming up in just over a fortnight Donald said this week was "good prep.

'That was by far my best round of the three. The swing was swirling and I hit a lot of solid shots.

'There were a couple of loose ones coming down the stretch, but I'm very pleased with that finish - it was hugely important for me.

'Physically and mentally it was tough and it's going to be a grind tomorrow.'

Rose, who could move to a career-high fifth in the world by winning, commented: 'I'm delighted. It was one of those where I realise how good a round it was until I saw that the course had taken its toll.

'There were some borderline holes, as there are at US Opens and on Sundays, but I sort of relished the challenge. It takes all your experience and patience and it certainly tested me.'

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Amanda Holden at the centre of Twitter backlash as she sends daughter to school dressed as Pretty Woman prostitute for fancy dress day

A parenting group has slammed TV star Amanda Holden for posting a picture of her nine-year-old daughter 'dressed as a prostitute' online.The Britain's Got Talent ... Full story

Grandmother filmed confronting militants and branding them 'devils' before quoting verses in the Koran that forbid slaughter

An incredible video has emerged showing the moment an elderly woman bravely confronted two Islamic State militants, telling them their terror group is cursed and ... Full story

Jobseeker shocked to be sent rudest rejection email ever calling him an 'old, aesthetically challenged professional pr*** with no teeth'

A jobseeker was shocked after he was branded as 'irritating', 'rude' and 'obnoxious' in a cutting email accidentally sent to him by a prospective employer.James ... Full story

Youngsters turning their backs on binge drinking with 40% surge in teetotal teens and students

Teenagers and young adults are turning their backs on binge drinking, dramatic new figures have revealed.The proportion of teetotal 16-to-24 year olds has rocketed by ... Full story

Talented 18-year-old pianist who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into deep depression

A gifted 18-year-old pupil who had won a place at Cambridge University was killed by a train after suffering a lapse into 'deep depression', his ... Full story

Former PE teacher, 91, becomes oldest person ever sent to prison for the first time after being found guilty of string of sex attacks on boys

A 91-year-old former teacher has become the oldest person to be sent to prison for the first time after he was jailed for carrying out ... Full story

Beauty therapist who posted dozens of weight loss selfies showing off her new slim figure on Facebook is reported for encouraging nudity

A beauty therapist who posted dozens of 'selfie' pictures of her new slimline figure on Facebook said she was shocked and upset after being reported ... Full story

Parents slam former Ofsted boss Zenna Atkins who is now chair of school governors over x-rated messages she posted on public Facebook page

Parents have slammed a former Ofsted chief who is now chairman of a school's governing board over x-rated messages she posted on Facebook.Zenna Atkins, who ... Full story

Taxpayers forked out £2,300 a month for council boss on £195,000 a year salary to drive luxury Porsche

Taxpayers paid out more than £2,300 a month for a council chief executive on a £195,000 a year salary to drive around in a luxury ... Full story

30 signs YOUR relationship has hit the comfort zone (and will go the distance)

Do you go au natural around your partner, chat to them while naked and do their laundry? You've officially hit the comfort zone.New research reveals ... Full story

Number of Muslim children in England and Wales doubles in a decade with one in 12 school pupils now brought up in Islamic home

The number of Muslim children in England and Wales has doubled in a decade, according to the most detailed study of its kind.An analysis of ... Full story

Comment on: Luke Donald bidding to defend BMW PGA Championship title and regain world No 1 spot

Rate this article

0

Featured author

Robert Livingston

Breaking News

Annjenetta Hooper caught trying to smuggle drugs into prison in her BRA

A young mother-of-three caught trying to smuggle drugs into prisonAnnjenetta Hooper was asked by her imprisoned partner to commit crimeThe 25-year-old stored the opioid drug, buprenorphine, in ...

Asian trend of women and men wearing nothing but a plastic bag

Crazy trend in Asia has people posting photos in nothing but a plastic bagThe viral social media sensation in Taiwan is truly bizarreMen and women ...

Police should not rule out tip offs from 'psychics, witches or clairvoyants' 

New guidelines say police should not dismiss information from mediums Report from College of Policing explains all tip offs should be evaluated However they add that their ...

UK population set to surge by twice as much as the rest of Europe PUT TOGETHER

EXCLUSIVE: UK population to soar by 20% over the next three decadesWill hit 76m in 2037 overtaking both France and Germany, according to EUOverall, UK ...

Perth school tells girl who dressed as anti-fracking crusader to take off outfit

A Perth schoolgirl has been told to remove part of her 'offensive' costumeClaire Hickey, 12, was dressed as an anti-fracking crusader for book week Claire's father ...

Telstra customer called 'Kate' loses the plot after being called 'John' twice

A Telstra rep called a female customer John although her name was KateMuch to her annoyance the rep typed it not once, but twice during ...

Baby gorilla and toddler Isaiah Chute play game of peek-a-boo at Columbus Zoo

Isaiah Chute was visiting the Columbus Zoo with his mother SherryHe went up to the enclosure, banged his chest, and the game began The pair chased ...

Calais chaos caused by blockade of just TWO small boats

Thousands of holidaymakers were left stranded due to the strikeThe protesting workers blocked Calais port's main entrance last nightAll traffic going to and from the ...

Koran thought to be the oldest in the world could predate Muhammad

Fragments of the oldest Koran were discovered last month in BirminghamCarbon dating found the pages were produced between 568AD and 654AD But several historians now ...

Canberra thief smashes his way into a 7-Eleven but struggles to get the cash

A male thief threatened a worker with a pistol in the Canberra robbery The criminal had a hammer which was used to break in to the ...