Lawrie and Drysdale lead at Wentworth
BY Bruce Young | European PGA Tour | 2012 BMW PGA Championship | Round One | 25 May 2012
The opening round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey sees Scotland’s David Drysdale and Ireland’s Peter Lawrie atop the leader board after opening rounds of 66.
37 year old Drysdale first joined the European Tour in 2002 but has yet to taste victory and while the chances of that breakthrough happening this week are slim he has made a great start in just his fourth time of playing the event.
Drysdale feels his game is in better shape than the results to date this season would suggest although he did manage a third placing in Johannesburg earlier in the year.
“The season to date has been good, from tee to green, I’ve been hitting the ball well, haven’t holed many putts all season, said Drysdale. "The back injury, I was a little unlucky but I seem to get something every year for a couple of weeks.
“Overall, tee to green, my golf has been good this year. Just haven’t been rolling the putts and today, I hit a few shots on the last few holes but played nicely the first sort of 12 and 13 and managed to roll a few putts in.
Lawrie is a more regular participant in the event, this his 10th time at the European Tour’s stand alone flagship. he has a best of 12th in those starts.
Lawrie thought believes the layout sets up well for him. "The course is set up great for me. Not one of the longest hitters on Tour but one of the straightest. You really have to hit a lot of fairways and you have to position your second shots off the greens to give yourself a chance of making birdies, or just settle for pars.
“It’s a course that you have to be very patient on and I’m quite a patient person, my wife wouldn’t believe that, but I am somewhere on the golf course. So that’s what you have to do.”
The leading pair are one shot clear of Jamie Donaldson, Justin Rose, Alvaro Quiros, Richard Johnson and Niclas Fasth.
The more fancied players at the beginning of the week have made mixed starts. Rose was definitely one of them and will play a key role in proceedings no doubt as the week progresses.
“Nice to get off to a great start at Wentworth, especially the afternoon, quick turnaround, hopefully keep the momentum going tomorrow morning., said the Englishman who won the WGC Cadillac Championship earlier this year. "Great crowds today, they came out in force with the weather being what it was and just a fun day’s golf back in England.
“I’ve said it this week, it’s on the bucket list, and probably only three or four events outside of the majors I would dearly love to win that are that much more special, and this is certainly right at the top of that list. Great start, obviously, but three more days.”
Defending champion Luke Donald is just two from the lead, two late birdies aiding his cause after a mid round stumble and Ernie Els gave an indication he might yet be a threat this week with his opening round of 68 on a golf course where he has yet to win this coveted event although where he has seven Wold match Play titles to his name.
“It’s a great, solid round, said Donald. "This course is not easy. It’s tough. They gave us a little bit of a break today. I think they put some water on the greens last night. The balls were holding a little bit more than they were on Wednesday. But certainly as the week goes on, I think the forecast is still going to be pretty good. If they get the greens going firm, it’s going to be tough.
“But you know, I’m going to try to feed off all the positive thoughts I’ve had around here the last couple years.”
Els was pleased to make a decent start. "I’m just pleased that I had a good first round for a change. The last couple of years I haven’t played that well here. I’m pleased to get off to a start which I’ve done now.
“I knew the course was going to be fine, especially after the latest little tweaks we made. I think that makes you feel a little better that you know that the guys are going to like it. That didn’t have an effect on me; I was just motivated to play well this week.”
Westwood 70 and McIlroy 74 are further back with McIlroy unable to move forward at any stage.
“Yeah, a bit of déjà vu from last year, said McIlory. "I kept getting off to good start and sort of making a few birdies around the turn and not really getting any momentum back, and it was the exact same what happened today.
“2 under through seven, feel like I’m playing well, and then I make four bogeys in five holes. So it’s just pretty disappointing. I feel like, you know, I’m playing pretty well. I just need to go out there and shoot the score.”
The cut appears is if it might fall around the even par mark so McIlory has work to do if he is to be playing the weekend never mind getting back into contention.
The leading Australian after day one is Andrew Dodt whose 3 under par 69 has him in 21st position.