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Defending champ Donald crashes out at Wentworth

AFP
ANALYST
News
602   //    24 May 2013, 22:12 IST

WENTWORTH, United Kingdom (AFP) –

English golfer Luke Donald plays his approach shot to the 1st green in Surrey, England, on May 24, 2013

English golfer Luke Donald plays his approach shot to the 1st green during the second round of the PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, England, on May 24, 2013. Donald crashed out of the European PGA Championship here at Wentworth.

Defending champion Luke Donald crashed out of the European PGA Championship here at Wentworth on Friday.

A level par second round of 72 left Donald regretting the 78 he shot on the first day as he was left on six-over par.

With more than half the field still out on the course in heavy rain the projected cut mark is two-over meaning Donald needs something remarkable to survive.

But the 35-year old, victorious in 2011 and 2012, insisted he was not going to start panicking about his game with the US Open less than a month away.

Donald told reporters at Wentworth: “I don’t think I am too far away. I made five birdies today so it is not like I am a million miles away. It is doing the things that Luke Donald does well – be tidy around the green and make those putts when I need to.

“I have got to start there and work my way back. I am not too worried. It is never nice to miss a cut, especially here at Wentworth, a place I have played well.

“I will be back – failure is a much bigger motivator for me than success.”

Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia will be here at the weekend with Westwood lying three-under par after two rounds and Garcia one-under.

Westwood has worked tirelessly on his short game since moving to the United States and the practice is paying off.

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He said: “My short game is red hot at the moment. I played some nice chips and got up and down on the 18th after hitting it in the hazard.

“Those sort of things can make a big difference to your week and I am going into the weekend with momentum.”

Francesco Molinari was sitting in the dry of the clubhouse as leader on six-under after a 68 with James Kingston, yet to start his second round, on the same mark.

Spain’s Alejandro Canizares, South Africa’s George Coetzee, Scotland’s Marc Warren and England’s Mark Foster were all safely in on five-under.

Molinari had four birdies in his final eight holes to hand in a 68 and says he was inspired by playing with Westwood and Ernie Els – who is three-under par.

Molinari said: “I like playing with Lee. We played together in the Ryder Cup and I think he enjoyed it. I think six-under is a good score given the conditions and it is a great position going into the weekend.”

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