Drysdale, Peter Lawrie share lead at Wentworth
Surrey, England (Sports Network) - David Drysdale used a lucky break on the 18th hole Thursday to join Peter Lawrie atop the leaderboard after the opening round of the BMW PGA Championship.
The duo finished 18 holes at six-under 66 and is one stroke clear of four players on the West Course at Wentworth Club.
Drysdale trailed by one on the 18th, and was lucky to join Lawrie in the lead as his second shot landed in a stream just left of the green.
However, the ball bounced off some rocks and back onto dry ground. Drysdale chipped to eight feet and converted the birdie putt to tie Lawrie for the lead.
"It's just incredible. I tried to cut my second shot in, pulled it and it landed in the middle of water, and it bounced out. Fantastic break there," Drysdale stated.
Alvaro Quiros, 2007 runner-up Justin Rose, Richard S. Johnson, Niclas Fasth and Jamie Donaldson share third place at minus-five.
Rose was lucky to compete as he was suffering from some vertigo before the round, but was treated with medication and made it through the round without incident.
Defending champion Luke Donald and Ernie Els, who re-designed Wentworth twice, headline a group of 13 players tied for eighth at four-under 68.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy struggled to a two-over 74 and is tied for 100th place.
McIlroy threw a club in frustration on the 12th. The U.S. Open champion's round included an eagle, a double-bogey, three birdies and five bogeys.
"Four bogeys in five holes around the turn was very disappointing. I feel like I'm playing pretty well and I've just got to go and shoot the scores," McIlroy said.
World No. 3 Lee Westwood, who lost to Donald in a playoff last year, posted a two-under 70 and shares 33rd.
Drysdale posted back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth. He came back with birdies on six and eight. After three straight pars around the turn, Drysdale got within one of the lead thanks to a birdie on the 12th.
The 37-year-old Scotsman, who is winless on the European Tour, gave that stroke right back with a bogey on the 13th. Drysdale rebounded with a birdie on 15. His lucky bounce at the last helped him share the first-round lead.
"It's been kind of coming. I've been playing well from tee to green, but not knocking the putts in. Today I holed a few, but didn't play well over the last four or five [holes], but managed to get away with it," admitted Drysdale.
Lawrie was on fire early. He birdied the second, then eagled the par-five fourth.
The 2008 Open de Espana winner followed with birdies on the five and six to grab the lead at minus-five.
Lawrie remained there as he carded four straight pars from the seventh. The Irishman converted a birdie chance on the 11th to get to six-under. He closed with seven consecutive pars to finish out his round.
"Getting off to such a great start here, it was important to try and keep the momentum going," Lawrie stated. "I played so well here in practice. I was very nervous starting out because I knew I was playing nicely. All I had to do was hole a few putts.
"That seemed to work early on, but I missed a few coming in."
NOTES: If McIlroy doesn't make the cut, Donald needs a top-eight finish to reclaim the top spot in the world rankings...Donald is looking to join Sir Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie as the only repeat winners in event history... Three-time champion Montgomerie and former British Open winner Paul Lawrie, no relation to the leader Peter Lawrie, headline a group at three- under 69.
05/24 16:01:06 ET