Friday, September 20, 2019

Rahm and Willett share two-shot

halfway lead at BMW PGA

Championship

Day Two report
Jon Rahm and Danny Willett share a two-shot halfway lead at the BMW PGA Championship, as a star-studded leaderboard – also featuring local heroes Justin Rose and Paul Casey among others - sets up a thrilling weekend in the fourth Rolex Series event of the 2019 Race to Dubai.
The 2016 Masters Tournament champion Willett delighted the 20,802 spectators with a stunning seven under par 65 – equalling the best score this week – which caught fire straight from the off.
The 31 year old from Sheffield, already a Rolex Series winner at the 2018 DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, was five under through five holes courtesy of three birdies and an eagle at the fifth, before picking up another shot at the ninth to clear the front nine in just 29 shots.
Back to back birdies at the 11th and 12th were offset by a single bogey at the 14th as he moved to an 11 under total.
Willett joined his fellow former Ryder Cup player Rahm at the summit after the Spanish sensation battled from successive bogeys on the opening two holes, following them up with four birdies on the bounce to move to reach the turn in two under.
The 24-year-old dropped a shot at the tenth but two more birdies, along with an eagle three at the last mean he is in the hunt for a fourth Rolex Series title.
Former World Number One Rose signed for a four under 68 as he chases a first win at Wentworth, and he was joined on nine under par by Henrik Stenson – alongside whom the Englishman has forged such a spectacular Ryder Cup partnership – as well as South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
Casey, a Surrey native, is two shots further back on seven under par, alongside American Billy Horschel, who is making his BMW PGA Championship debut this week. Play was suspended overnight in round two with six players yet to complete their rounds.
Player quotes:

Danny Willett:
“We hit a lot of good shots. Holed some nice kind of mid-range putts and I think with the wind picking up it's probably better that you don't expect that coming in. You just try and hit some good golf shots and see what it gives you, and fortunately today it gave us a pretty quick start.
“It's amazing. It's my 10th straight year, and playing with Westy (Lee Westwood), I think it's his 26th. It's one of those places where you love coming back. The crowds are amazing. They always are. I've had a couple nice finishes around here and the crowds help you along and really get behind you, and it's a fantastic spectacle for golf.
“For me, and I think if you ask anyone out here, it's the best condition I've seen it in the ten years I've been here. It's all set up for a really good weekend.” 
Jon Rahm:
“Made two bogeys on the first two, but it's not like I had major misses or it just felt bad. It happens on this course, one is a tough hole and two was short, basically one yard off on both tee shots. I didn't get too frustrated.
“I just capitalised on the putts that I had. I would say that birdie on three was very important, to get that one going before the par five, knowing if I put it in the fairway I have a decent chance at a birdie.

“Being out there after 36 holes, with 36 to go, it's important to have a chance, especially on a course that I've never seen before and a tournament this important. It is the Rolex Series, it's a tournament we all want to win. There's a lot of history here and a lot of legends on the walls, so it would be great to join that great list of players.”

Christiaan Bezuidenhout:
“I was pleased with the way I handled myself when things were not going my way. I was hitting it well but hit a couple of bad shots. I just kept my composure and tried to minimise the mistakes out there. You need to hit a lot of fairways here to make a score. I'm just going to try and do that and see how it goes come Sunday.” 
Justin Rose:
“I didn't feel that comfortable with the driver yesterday but today I drove it much better. I thought it was a good round.  I call this a bucket list event, this is one I'd dearly love to win. It's my home event, really. It's one I've watched since I was a little kid.”
Henrik Stenson:
“It's always been nice to play Wentworth. The crowds have always been great and it's got a lot of history on the European Tour, so it's always nice to be back. I'm pretty pleased with the day's work, especially being one-over through eight holes. I finished with nice wedge and putt on the last, so I’m pleased.”
Billy Horschel: 
“It's exceeded my expectations this week. This course, I've been watching since I was 12. It's a beautiful golf course on TV, and you get here and it's even better in person. We've had a great game plan this week, but the more you play it, the more comfortable you get with the shots you've got to hit.”
Paul Casey: 
“I know this place incredibly well - local boy, local crowds. Everything about this feels kind of like a home tournament for me. I love it. That doesn't make it easy, though. I think this golf course is difficult. You've got to play extremely good stuff. I'm always proud of the way I play when I play well around here.”
Ends 
                                                             

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