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Ballantine’s Championship, More Weather Delay’s.

Lightning on the  Blackstone Golf Course in South Korea has caused further delays during the second round at the Ballantine’s Championship. Round 2 is due to be completed on Saturday morning.

Ballantine's Championship - Day 2 - Arnond Vongvanij (-7)

Arnond Vongvanij / European Tour

 Wade Ormsby and Arnond Vongvanij are the current leaders in the clubhouse on -7 under par for their completed rounds. Wade had a -5 under par effort and -3 under par for Arnond.

Alexander Noren, James Morrison and Jbe Kruger are tied in third position, they are following very close behind on -6 under par. James Morrison had a marvelous -6 under par 66 round to put him in contention.

In a senior moment yesterday I wrongly stated that there were no Americans in this Tournament, due to the political situation between the USA and North Korea. I am grateful to Rodd D Starkey to point out that there are indeed Americans contesting here, despite the absence of the two big names Zach Johnson and Dustin Johnson, who decided not to travel. You can catch up with Ross and his blog here;  http://letstalkgolf.co.uk/

Of the Americans who are in South Korea, the best placed player is Berry Henson, a -2 under par round today has him tied in eighth place. Jason Knutzon is tied in 31st spot at -2 under par, with Peter Uihlein currently at +1 over par, tied in 66th place. Peter has four holes left tomorrow in his second round to find a birdie and make the cut, which is at par at the moment. Missing the cut will be American Johnathan Moore, who is sadly at +12 over par.

BMW PGA Championship 3rd round, Luke Donald in control.

Donald in pole position to defend his title

Luke Donald (Getty Images)

Luke Donald is in control of the BMW PGA Championship title at Wentworth after overcoming testing conditions with a third round – 3 under par, 69,  at the Wentworth Club in front of record Saturday crowd of 25,176. Luke showed his class with a joint-best round of the day in strong winds, the 34 year old is now eleven under par for the tournament, and two ahead of Justin Rose in second place.

Luke is attempting to follow Sir Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie as the only players ever to make a successful defence of The European Tour’s flagship event. Nick Faldo did it in 1980 and 1981, while Colin Montgomerie had three wins in a row from 1998 to 2000.

The overnight leader James Morrison had a very difficult day, even though he started four clear of the field after a sparkling second round 64. The world’s number 236 cracked under the pressure and  signed for an 81 and will go into the closing eighteen holes eight strokes behind after, a quadruple bogey eight, a triple bogey eight and three bogeys on his card.

Luke said of his day;

 “The tougher the better. The good players that can be patient and deal with it are always going to rise to the top usually. That was by far my best round of the three. The wind 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.”

Justin Rose was also pleased with his effort in the windy conditions;

“I’m delighted. It was one of those where I didn’t realise how good a round it was until I saw that the course had taken its toll.”

BMW Championship, Wentworth 2nd round, Morrison leads, Donald lurking with intent.

James Morrison leads the BMW Championship at Wentworth after a sparkling second round of -8 under par and 64. He leads by four shots from two players, yesterdays leader David Drysdale who had a second round score of -2 under par, 70, and the man seeking to retake the #1 spot in the world golf rankings, Luke Donald. Luke repeated yesterdays score with a -4 under par, 68, and with Rory McIlroy missing the cut in this years event, he must surely have his eyes set on the #1 ranking.

Luke Donald  (Getty Images)

Luke Donald (Getty Images)

The  current World Number Two is looking to regain top spot from Rory McIlroy at the venue where he dethroned Lee Westwood 12 months ago, Luke had three bogeys on his card, but two of them were followed by birdies and he eagled the twelfth  after dropping a shot at the eleventh. Luke said after his round;

Obviously I’m very pleased with that round,” he said. “This is a tricky course, and the scores are reasonably good. Obviously James Morrison had a great round – there are scores out there because the greens are holding.

“When I made bogey on 15, to finish with a couple of birdies on 16, 17, really will make me feel a lot better going into the weekend. I’m feeling very strong on the greens. I feel like something that has been not as consistent for me over the last couple of months, but felt very comfortable on the greens the last two days. Every time I’ve had opportunities, I’m seeing the line, and got the speed down and making some good putts.”

Asked if he was focusing on a top eight finish to give him the coveted #1 spot, Luke replied;

 ” To be honest, the focus is always to try and win the tournament.”

David Drysdale said he is desperate to win a tournament;

“I expect a lot, but if I shoot 80 or 65 I’ll take what I can from it. I desperately, desperately, desperately want to keep going forward and that’s my problem sometimes, I’m too eager, too keen, too determined I guess. I’ve been playing great, but been getting in the way of myself. I’m going to do my best and that’s all I can do.”

Along with Rory McIlroy, other notables missing the cut were; Graeme McDowell, Nicolas Colsaerts, Robert Karlsson and Retief Goosen.

I am anticipating a really good finish from Luke Donald, it will be interesting to see if James Morrison can live with the pressure of life at the top of the leaderboard.

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